Schools bracing for snow

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 15:14 19/06/2013

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Schools have begun preparing for the likelihood of snow, which is predicted to hit Christchurch this week.

The weather forecast has changed to indicate more of a wet day tomorrow, with snow likely to develop by Friday.

Cashmere Primary School principal Jacqui Duncan said she had already told parents if there was any sign of snow on the ground, the hillside school would be closed.

''If snow has settled then our pathways are too dangerous and school has to close until we can physically shift the snow,'' she said.

The school would send out a morning text message and email alert if it would be closed, followed by notifying radio stations.

Cashmere High School principal Mark Wilson said no decision would be made until the white stuff appeared.

He would take into account whether public transport was running for pupils to get to school, whether police had issued any travel warnings and what his assessment of the school's conditions were.

Parents would be notified via text alerts.

He predicted there would be more of an issue on Friday, especially in its catchment area of hilly Cashmere.

Lincoln High School principal Linda Tame said she was watching the weather closely to see what would happen, but they would make a decision in the morning.

The school often saw snow before Christchurch schools since it was the first to see fronts coming from the south.

The school had 25 buses due each morning, and she had to be prepared for those. They had salt ready for pathways, and a grader to clear any settled snow from school grounds.

''We're certainly watching it and will be ready to act as soon as anything happens.''

A Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology spokeswoman said the snow situation would be assessed in the morning before making any closure announcements by about 8am.

It was due to hold its open day tomorrow, but that would be postponed until Tuesday if the institute had to close.

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