VERMILION, Ohio – The Wade kids were happy to have an extra day off school, Tuesday. “I went out there in the snow and I was just out there playing for like three minutes…and I got cold and had frostbite,” joked 3rd grader Megan Wade.
Bitter cold temperatures forced Vermilion City Schools and about 40 other schools to close their buildings and extend winter break.
Phil Pempin, Superintendent for Vermilion City Schools, is the one who makes the final decision on if school will be held during frigid cold and snow days. “Safety is always the number one concern of any superintendent and we always get a little bit anxious at this time of year when we get temperatures like these,” Pempin said.
Superintendents have a lot to consider when they are going to potentially cancel school. The buses have to be able to start, the roads have to be ok for travel and it has to be safe for kids to stand outside and wait for the bus.
“The wind chill factor and how cold is it outside and are our students having to wait outside for a long time for a bus,” Pempin said. Pempin says superintendents from adjacent districts usually communicate overnight about what their decision will be.
“If we can make the call early enough we do and we give our parents enough time but that's not always possible. Unfortunately the weather hits late sometimes and we're not able to,” Pempin said.
With even colder temperatures coming towards Northeast Ohio, kids may get another day off before the week is out.