Is there really a difference between -20 and -30? - ProTeacher Community


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Is there really a difference between -20 and -30?

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Is there really a difference between -20 and -30?
Old 01-02-2018, 06:26 AM
  #1

Our school closing guidelines used to be sustained temps of -20 w/windchill during at the beginning of the school day and end of the school day (when kids would be waiting at bus stops.) That backfired years ago when we had a string of days (like now) when it was that cold - some people were mad that so many days were canceled, others were mad because if we went back to school, that would go against the guidelines.

The sups answer to the problem was to make the guidelines -30 (which is quite rare). But my question is this: For those kids standing out at the bus stop (which is really the kids were closing school for), -20 or -30 are both still dangerously cold temps. Does the change in guideline make any sense?


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Old 01-02-2018, 06:39 AM
  #2

There is really not much!

At temperatures of -20 or -30 frostbite can occur within 30 minutes!
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:57 AM
  #3

Where I live many of the schools were delayed today for 2 hours due to cold. It was only about 5 degrees warmer 2 hours later. Was that necessary?
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:44 AM
  #4

Our is -25 below windchill. A district about 40 minutes from us is -10. A few years ago when it was horrifically cold all winter they lost almost 2 weeks of school. My theory is youíre never going to make everyone happy. Set a temp and stick with it. If parents donít want their kids to stand at the bus stop and they canít/wonít drive them then keep them home.

Personally, I think one you get to -20 and anything colder itís just cold and frostbite is a concern.
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:52 AM
  #5

I wonder if the delays were not due to increased temps later, but because the heat was off or low during vacation and needed time to warm up the buildings.


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Not much difference
Old 01-02-2018, 10:38 AM
  #6

I agree that there is not much of a difference, but I would not enjoy being the one to make that call! I have mixed feelings on the subject. I definitely don't want kids standing at the bus stop or walking to school when it is -20 degrees. However, many of my students are living in poverty and have one space heater for the whole residence, and many don't even have blankets or pillows. On snow or cold days, they are often home alone or taking care of younger siblings. I worry more about them being at home .
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:08 PM
  #7

In my opinion I wouldn't think there would be much difference! Both are dangerous temps to be out in, as well as extremely uncomfortable!

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Old 01-02-2018, 03:08 PM
  #8

We had a delay but it was more because the buses can't start in sub 0 temperatures, especially after sitting all week on vacation.
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We don't close until -50 with windchill
Old 01-02-2018, 04:14 PM
  #9

We still have outdoor recess to -18 below. I think your perception of cold really depends where you live. If it is -35 where I live nobody would think of not having school or even a late start.
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Cold
Old 01-02-2018, 05:29 PM
  #10

We close for cold if the buses donít start. We had a workshop day today, but 2 nearby districts closed since they couldnít get enough buses started.


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Old 01-02-2018, 05:49 PM
  #11

I don't think a "cold day" is a thing around here- at least I've never heard of it! Not that I'd complain about a day off, but I have to admit the idea seems a little silly to me. Even if kids have to go out and wait for buses, that's only a few minutes. I've also only worked in low SES districts so like a pp mentioned, it's far more likely that the students don't have adequate heat (and food) at home, so it's much better to brave the cold for a few minutes coming into school than having to stay home all day.

I also agree that it depends on where you live because that colors your perspective...around here I don't even start hoping for a snow day unless it's predicted to be at least 10 inches or so. In my hometown, if it's snowing at just the right time (during the morning commute) they might get a snow day for one inch of snow and even a few inches of accumulating snow is pretty much a guaranteed snow day.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:17 PM
  #12

Yeah, mixed feelings about cold days. You're right that many kids would probably be cared for more appropriately at school. I think for my school it would mostly be in terms of food and childcare. I'm sure many parents leave their kids alone when school is canceled. I hadn't thought about the heat issue.

Late starts make sooo much sense to me rather than snow days. Gives them time to plow the roads. We don't do any late starts, though, so it will never happen for us. Like the pp, it takes a lot of snow at just the right time for a snow day.
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