The cold is just as much a concern as icy or snowy roads. When considering closing schools for unsafe driving conditions, the process includes driving the roads between 5:00 and 6:00 am, checking weather forecasts, and then considering how safe the conditions are for buses, car drivers, and walkers.
With frigid temperatures generally our students who walk to school are considered first, then car drivers, and then students who ride the bus. A huge consideration is how appropriately students are prepared for cold weather. While walkers obviously need to be bundled up, we often find that students who ride buses and cars are sometimes not prepared in case of a breakdown; sliding into a ditch, careless drivers, or deer crashes as a possibility.
There is no single hard-and-fast rule or absolute temperature that will signal a mandated delay or closure. Generally, if the combination of air temperature and wind speed creates a wind chill of minus 20, then serious consideration will be given to either a delay or closure.
The word “generally” is very important here. It is not an absolute. Current conditions, the immediate forecast, the longer term forecast, the sustainability of the winds, and whether the air temperature is increasing or decreasing are discussed. Safety is always the number one priority. If a delay or closure is necessary because of temperature or wind chill, that information will be relayed over the media and the Honeywell Instant Alert System, as is done for all other delays.
Parents always have the right to decide what is best for their family and can keep their children home if they believe the weather is too severe for them to attend school. Children who stay home will need a note from a parent or guardian excusing their absence and the absence will be counted as a verified absence.