Area superintendents watching forecasts to decide on school closures

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. – When is it too cold for school? With the forecast calling for wind chills below zero Tuesday morning, school districts will have a tough call to make.

Officials at the Missouri Department of Transportation’s management center said roads were in good shape after crews treated and plowed the highways, adding that roads shouldn’t be a problem Tuesday. However, a lot of parents voiced concern about sending their children out into the cold that morning.

Many St. Louis area school districts will have their buses plugged into heaters to warm up the engines overnight so they will start in the morning. But when is it too cold to keep schools open?

District superintendents make their decisions on a case-by-case basis, usually assessing factors including temperatures, wind chill, and road conditions. Superintendents have to balance their desire to have children in school and their desire to keep children safe, and how long some students who take buses may have to wait outside.

Rockwood School Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost said while temperatures are very cold, he does not expect the weather to result in the closure of school on Tuesday.

The district released the following statement Monday afternoon:

“We want to assure our families that we are prepared and our schools and buses are warm, safe and dry, sufficient clothing and protection, along with limiting time outdoors, will adequately protect against these conditions.”

The Parkway School District referred Fox 2/KPLR11 to a statement from Superintendent Dr. Keith Marty released earlier this year:

“Parkway utilizes the National Weather Service's wind chill chart as a guide when determining whether to close school or reduce recess time due to cold temperatures. Any time the temperature or wind chill temperature reaches the point at which exposed skin could experience frostbite, we consider closing school. We also keep students inside or reduce time outside for recess based on the temperatures throughout the day.”