Thousands of students in southern New Brunswick awoke to discover school had been cancelled due to snow, but children in Nova Scotia weren’t as lucky.

It wasn’t just the little ones that had the day off; students at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University got a little more study time as their exams were also cancelled.

Gregg Ingersoll, superintendent for Anglophone East School District, says the decision to cancel school is made at 5:30 a.m. and is based on a number of factors, including the day’s forecast.

“We have to be very careful that we don’t put the drive home in a situation where we have the potential for accidents,” says Ingersoll.

The city of Moncton says the order of operations is salt first, then plowing main routes, followed by secondary roads.

“Get a layer of salt down, so that when we do plow, the snow will peel off a lot easier,” says Mayhew Lloy of Moncton Public Works.

In Fredericton, snow plows hit the streets shortly after the first flakes fell.

Meanwhile, it was a wet and windy day in uptown Saint John. Those in the port city woke up to snow, which quickly turned to freezing rain as the day went on.

Ambulance New Brunswick says it was prepared for a spike in accidents.

“Especially at the beginning of the year, before folks are used to driving in the snow, we expect a lot of people sliding off the road or fender benders,” says Jean-Marc Dugas of Ambulance New Brunswick.

Police caution motorists to slow down during wintry weather.

“Giving themselves a little more time to reach their destination, give themselves more space on the road, do not follow as closely as you would normally do,” says Const. Damien Theriault of Codiac RCMP.

With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell