ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Cold and blustery weather forced some local schools to close for the day. But some parents think their kids should have gone to school anyway. Local decision-makers said once temperatures exceed 20 below they delay or cancel school. District officials NewsChannel 15 spoke with said it’s just not worth risking kids’ safety.
“We have a lot of walkers, and we have a lot of students who catch buses who have to stand on bus stops and so I don’t think that’s feasible. We want to keep them safe and warm and staying home is doing just that,” East Allen County School Spokesperson Tamyra Kelly said.
East Allen County School Spokesperson Tamyra Kelly said once temps dip below negative 20, that’s usually when school officials decide it may be a good idea to keep kids home.
“It’s the norm of other districts around in Allen County.”
Southwest Allen County Superintendent Dr. Steve Yager said 20 below is his districts rule of thumb too. He said they’re responsible for keeping about seven-thousand students safe.
“Oh, yeah. And we don’t take it lightly,” Southwest Allen County Schools Superintendent Dr. Steve Yager said.
When temperatures exceed 20 below, Dr. Yager said they’re worried about frostbite and their diesel buses stalling mid-route.
“It’s not a good thought to think about anywhere from 10 to 60 students on a bus that is stranded out in the middle of nowhere and obviously is the engine isn’t running it’s not heated.”
Out of curiosity, we reached out to a larger school district in South Dakota. Sioux Falls School District officials use this map to determine whether to close school.
“We work closely with the National Weather Service and when the windchill and temperature are going to be in that range where exposed flesh can freeze in 10 minutes or less and we usually make the decision to close school for the day,” Sioux Falls School District Communications Specialist Ben Schmaucher explained.
At daybreak when kids would had been getting on the bus, the windchill was right around negative 26, negative 30. And if we played by Sioux Falls rule, kids would have gone to school. They say they’ve had a cold winter as well but have only missed one day due to cold temps.