CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Northeast Ohio started out Wednesday with temperatures in some areas down to the single digits. That led many people to ask, “How cold does it have to be to cancel school?”

FOX 8 reached out to local school districts to find out more about their policies. It turns out, those policies don’t always include a set temperature for when school would be canceled.

“In our decision making today, it wasn’t cold enough to close schools,” Mark Williamson, Director of Marketing and Communications of Akron Public Schools told FOX 8’s Maia Belay. “I do believe if it were windy today and we got into the negative digits, we probably would have closed.”

He says the school district considers several factors.

“If it’s zero degrees outside and there’s no wind, we might have school, and if it’s eight degrees outside and there’s a 20 mile an hour wind, we might not have school,” he said. “There’s the wind chill, the feels like, all those things go into this. We have a group of people who come together whenever this is in question. They help the superintendent who makes the decision.”

Another thing to consider, kids who rely on school lunches don’t get them on calamity days.

“For most of these kids, when they’re in school, they get to eat, it’s warm, they’re with their friends and the social group they like. They’re safe and those factors weigh in on those days which way does the scale tip,” Williamson says.

At the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, a spokesperson said a wind chill of -15 would qualify as an acceptable reason to close schools. A list of several other factors is on the district’s website. 

“We try to do what’s best for all of our children, so there are 21,000 students and we have to think of all of them. We always believe the best place for children to be is at school,” Williamson said.

High school students do not qualify for school busses in Akron, according to Williamson, and other students must live two miles from school to get a school bus ride. Of the 21,000 students in the district, he said 7,000 to 8,000 are able to take the school bus.

“10% of our students during the course of any given year don’t have a home,” he said. 

While wind chills didn’t send temperatures tumbling below zero Wednesday, that won’t be the case Thursday morning. FOX 8 Weather is forecasting a -13 wind chill for Akron, -16 for Canton and -9 for Cleveland.