NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Many schools around our state have called off classes on Thursday. But how do schools decide whether classes will be in session?

KX News heard from State Superintendent of Schools Kirsten Baesler to find out.

She said, “In North Dakota, we believe strongly in local control. In the spirit of that, we have 169 school districts in the state that are governed by 169 different school boards. Those school boards elect a school administrator, most frequently called the school superintendent, and that district superintendent is tasked with making the decision whether or not school will be in session that day.”

The superintendent drives around the area to understand road conditions and constantly contacts local city departments to make the decision.

Elementary schools must be in session for 962 and a half hours for the school year, and 1,050 hours for middle and high school.

If snow days are called, hours of class will be taken from spring break or summer vacation.

“Some of our school districts have chosen to use this blizzard event as their storm days, so they won’t have a longer spring break or they’ll go two extra days at the end of the year,” said Baesler.

Schools are now getting equipped for virtual classes in case of snow days so students and teachers don’t have to make storm days up in person.