Cancellation Guidelines for School Officials

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CLEVELAND -- How cold is too cold for children to walk to school or wait for the bus?

Northeast Ohio school districts are keeping a close eye on the thermometer as we prepare for next week’s frigid blast.

Christopher Bates is the mother of a kindergartner at George Washington Carver Elementary school on East 55th Street.  She believes if temperatures dip below zero, Cleveland schools should close.

"To walk that, definitely too cold to be having children out here, especially little ones like this," Bates said.

"I think I should stay home 'cause if it's real cold, it's Pneumonia weather and I think we should stay home 'cause I don't wanna get sick," said student Jerold Woodson.

"If you live closer to the school, it's not such a big problem, but if you live far, that would be a problem to me," said parent Nina Woodson.

A spokeswoman for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District says the district will wait until the weather hits before deciding on what to do.

Here are some of the factors they consider:

  • When the temperature is below zero or the wind chill is below ten degrees
  • When there is ice on the ground
  • When visibility is less than 50 feet
  • If there is ice or deep snow on streets or sidewalks

School administrators say that student safety is always their number one priority, but they say other factors go into whether they close school. For example, they don't just educate students, they feed many of them, in some cases three meals a day, so no school means for some students no food.

"I know that the school is babysitter in some ways and foodwise, but just that brittle walk from home to the school, their fingers could freeze," said Margaret Spencer, who drives her grandchildren to school every day.

"I see kids always catching the bus, you know, they're standing on the corners, even around here waiting for buses to pick them up and they're freezing," said parent Dawn Daugherty.

"I didn't even want to come out my house. That's like how cold it was," said student Jaylin Fields.


  • mrs carmichael

    Anyone who does not or cannot provide even ONE meal a day to a child shouldn’t have children at all.

    • Mike

      Food stamps are never enough to cover a whole month of food. They are a huge help when you’re down on your luck, for whatever reason, but it’s not generally enough. Besides, what does having food stamps have anything to do with the article?? There are people living at or below the poverty level whose children attend school. Sadly, their lunch may be the only warm/best meal they will receive that day. Safety wise, no child should be made to walk any distance or stand outside for any length of time in frigid temps!! That’s why snow days were put in place!!

      • Lisa

        Still nothing to do with the weather, but maybe if people on food stamps stop buying steak and seafood they would have enough to cover the whole month!

  • Joe

    Schools should not be kept open in dangerous situations for all students just because of the food issue. That is ridiculous!

    • Jujubean

      Yep I walked to school in -8 degree weather in the 80’s what has changed? Complaining scrapbooking mommies only time school should close is snow.

      • Mike

        Do you have children?? Would you allow them to remain outside when there are negative temperatures??

        Many people comment on issues they have never dealt with on a personal level. You think you may know what you would do, but until you have actually been in that situation, you NEVER know how you will react!!

  • Becky

    If I feel its to cold to be outside I let my kids go outside, so I wont let them stand out for the bus either, and for those who live close to the school and have to walk it don’t matter how close they live then can still get frost bite, my nephew gets a ride but our drive way it on the other side of the yard, and my kids have to stand outside and wait for the bus and if they aren’t outside the bus don’t stop, the bus picks them up at our house so I feel it wont hurt for them to beep the horn for them to come out side. But either way like I said if its going to be under the teens in degrees I am not sending my kids to school, I have a son with sever asthma and get sick really quick.

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