How cold is too cold for school?

CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Cold temperatures could lead to school closings this week with wind chills expected to dip well below zero. 

While it's sometimes easy to tell when snow fall will lead to a snow day, when they're talking about low temperatures, it's not so black and white. 

"Wind is tricky and it depends upon the geographic area, so one school district could have a lower wind chill than another," said West Genesee Superintendent Dr. Chris Brown. 

There are a number of factors to look at.

Brown explained, "It does come down to how many walkers you have, what are the other weather conditions? If there is a windchill it means that there is wind, so is that causing snow to blow? Are the roads icier than normal? What are the police reporting in terms of accidents? How are the village and town plows doing? Our own plow people will tell us how things are going from their perspective, and I've got to weigh all that and make a determination."

There are guidelines from the Onondaga County Health Department for superintendents like Brown to follow.

The recommendation is to close schools when the windchill gets below negative twenty. 

Brown takes that suggestion seriously because when it comes to temperatures that cold, it's a matter of safety.

"Kids can get hurt, and it's my job to protect their health, welfare, and safety," he added.

The school day is at the hands of superintendents, but some safety measures should be taken by parents.

Brown tells parents to be sure their kids are dressed for the weather. 

Brown also says, when it comes to choosing a delay or closing school for the day, he keeps an eye on local weather outlets to decide if the bitter cold will last all day. 

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