DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s largest school district is calling for a snow day ahead of Friday’s projected winter storm.

Des Moines Public Schools announced Thursday afternoon that students and staff will stay home on Friday as more than 8 inches of snow are projected to fall in the city. It is a traditional snow day, which means students will not be distance learning during the day.

DMPS director of communications Phil Roeder said the decision was made not just because of how much snow could fall, but when it could come down.

“Our concern was the tail end of that day, and the impact the storm could have for students and staff to get home safely when class was dismissed,” Roeder said. “The safe choice and the prudent decision was to call it a day and chalk it up as a snow day.”

The snow day means Des Moines Public Schools students now have a six-day break. Students already had scheduled holidays for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday and for teacher workdays on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“In the city the size of Des Moines, we know this could have a ripple effect on parents and jobs and everything else that goes on throughout the city,” Roeder said. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but just because it wasn’t an easy decision doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right decision.”