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.

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