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How Much Snow Does It Take To Close Schools?

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A breakdown of that it takes to get a snow day in the United States. (Credit: Reddit)

A breakdown of that it takes to get a snow day in the United States. (Credit: Reddit)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago rarely closes its schools for snow.

The Chicago Public School system has only closed four times since 1999–two days that year after a post-New Year’s Day blizzard and two days after the blizzard of 2011. In those cases, there was more than 20 inches of snow on the ground.

CPS has closed four times this month for extreme cold weather, but not snow.

But what does it take for the rest of the country to give kids a snow day?

As we saw this week in Atlanta, two to three inches brought the entire area to its knees–with some children spending Tuesday night sleeping inside their schools. Thousands were stranded in their cars and many were forced to abandon their vehicles.

A map posted on Reddit on Wednesday breaks down the criteria for the entire country.

Outside Cook County, it generally takes 12 inches of snow to close suburban schools.

A snowstorm of three inches will close schools in central Illinois and Indiana.

Minnesota and upstate New York are more like Chicago.

Less than two feet?

Go to school, kids!

Even the threat of snow in the south will shut down school districts there, according to the map.

The map, created by Alexandr Trubetskoy of Fairfax, Va., used a survey sample, data from city records, NOAA maps and local news sources.

“I decided to pursue this project because, with the recent snow accumulation in my area, the school closings severely pushed back the schedule and raised questions about Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) policy,” he said in an email.

John Dodge, CBS Chicago

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