Cancelling school due to cold weather is always a controversial decision. Some parents and students feel that any temperature below freezing is too cold, while others believe that schools should only close if it is absolutely dangerous outside. So, how cold does it have to be to cancel school? There is no easy answer, as each district has their own policies and procedures in place.
However, we can take a look at some of the factors that are typically considered when making the decision. These include wind chill, road conditions, and the availability of heat and shelter at the school itself. Read on for a more in-depth look at each of these factors, as well as some tips for staying safe in cold weather.
The science of cold weather and school cancellations
When a winter storm is on the way, the decision of whether or not to cancel school can be a difficult one for school administrators. But what goes into that decision?
There are a few factors that are considered when deciding if weather conditions are too dangerous for school. First, officials look at the wind chill. The wind chill is how cold it feels when the wind is factored in with the temperature. For example, if it’s 30 degrees outside with no wind, it will feel like 30 degrees. But if there’s a 20 mph wind blowing, it will feel more like 15 degrees.
Another factor that’s considered is the chance of ice and snow accumulation. If there’s a high chance of accumulations, that increases the chances of school being cancelled. This is because ice and snow can make travel hazardous and make it difficult for buses to get students to school safely.
Finally, officials also have to consider the forecast for the rest of the day. If conditions are expected to improve later in the day, schools may delay their start times or dismiss early instead of cancelling school entirely.
So next time you’re wondering why your child’s school
A brief history of school cancellations due to cold weather
School cancellations due to cold weather are a relatively recent phenomenon. In the past, schools would remain open even in extremely cold temperatures. However, as heating and transportation became more reliable, schools began to close when temperatures dropped below certain thresholds.
The decision to cancel school due to cold weather is typically made by the superintendent or school board. They will consider factors such as the wind chill, road conditions, and whether or not the school buildings are adequately heated.
While some argue that cancelling school due to cold weather is an overreaction, others argue that it is necessary to protect students and staff from potentially dangerous conditions. Ultimately, the decision is up to the individual school district.
Why do some schools cancel for cold weather while others don’t?
Most schools have a policy in place for when to cancel school due to cold weather. This decision is usually based on a combination of factors, including the wind chill, temperatures, and whether or not there is snow or ice on the ground.
Some schools may cancel school if the wind chill is below a certain temperature, while others may only cancel if the actual temperature is below freezing. Some schools may also consider whether or not there is snow or ice on the ground when making the decision to cancel school.
Ultimately, the decision to cancel school due to cold weather is up to the individual school district. Some districts may be more lenient with their policies, while others may be more strict.
How does cold weather affect students and teachers?
When temperatures drop below a certain point, schools must take into account the safety of students and staff. Buses may have difficulty starting in very cold weather, and exposed skin can develop frostbite within minutes. For these reasons, most school districts have a policy in place for inclement weather.
However, decisions about whether or not to cancel school are not always straightforward. If temperatures are only slightly below freezing, for example, buses may still be able to run safely and students can dress appropriately for the weather. In these cases, schools must weigh the risk of cancellations against the educational needs of students.
Cancelling school can also cause disruptions for working parents who must make arrangements for child care. For these reasons, decisions about whether or not to close schools due to cold weather are never made lightly.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the decision to cancel school due to cold weather varies from district to district. However, a good rule of thumb is that if the temperature is below freezing, there is a good chance that school will be cancelled. So if you’re wondering how cold it has to be to cancel school, the answer is: it depends!