How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School?

It’s nice to dream about always living in a place where it is balmy and 70 degrees outside all the time.

However, we live in a world where there are varying degrees of weather, and in some places, the weather we experience can change multiple times a day. Is there a time when it would be too cold to hold classes at school?

When the temperatures drop below freezing, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind chill further makes conditions dangerous, schools are likely to delay or close for the safety of all their students and staff. These temperatures are likely to cause frostbite with extended exposure.

School districts are mindful of the ever-changing weather conditions and start monitoring when temperatures can be hazardous to the health and well-being of individuals.

How Cold Does It Have To Be?

There are times when different states may make other calls, even counties or districts within a state, but ultimately, safety will always be a priority.

Many students across the nation walk to school, and repeated exposure to the cold can damage the lungs.

Additionally, considering the economic status of all people in the district and if each person has adequate access to proper clothing for such harsh temperatures.

Why Would Cold Weather Cancel School?

Schools can be reliable. School happens every day. It helps students maintain a schedule. It helps parents maintain a plan.

Having school gets some students food or a warm place to stay. Still, ultimately, if the conditions are extreme enough, many schools will consider delays or cancellations to ensure the well-being of all involved.

When temperatures are cold enough, taking into consideration students who walk or stand at the bus stop could be at risk for frostbite, which can damage healthy skin tissue when exposed to extreme cold for too long.

Kids playing in snow

How Cold Is Too Cold?

It is essential to pay close attention to the temperature outside, but more importantly, it is imperative to keep a close eye on the wind chill.

There are times when it could be deemed safe to be outside with the actual temperature, but the wind chill can make it much more dangerous to head outdoors, especially to walk to school.

Once the temperatures reach around 13 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, children and adults alike are susceptible to frostbite.

Unfortunately, frostbite can come on quickly when the wind keeps our warm temperatures pushed away from us. This means it is crucial to head inside when it gets this cold, likely meaning the cancellation of schools.

Keep in mind that while it is generally safe to be outdoors when the temperatures are 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above, layering up with warm clothing is important for the body to maintain its core body temperature.

Can School Cancellations Vary?

Considering there are vast differences in places all over the nation, it would make logical sense that states, counties, and districts may choose to make different calls. Schools are entities run by local governments, thus leaving up an interpretation for what is too cold for each district.

When monitoring for school closures, it is essential to pay close attention to the state, district, or county your school resides in to get the most accurate information.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Ohio?

In Ohio, districts have stated that student safety is their number one priority. In the past, parents and students have expressed their concerns about students having to wait at the bus stop or making the walk to school in temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, districts in Ohio recognize that being out in the extreme cold like this could lead to colds, flu, and even pneumonia, and no one wants the children to get sick.

While it is vital to keep children safe, schools also point to say they are not just educators. There are other factors that go into deciding to cancel school.

Many don’t realize that school building is a haven for some. During these harsh winters, being at school may be the only warmth a student may have during the day or the only meals they have.

Canceling too much school due to weather, if not extreme enough, could adversely affect the many students who rely on the school to fill other needs than education.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Missouri?

Residents of Missouri will find stricter conditions for schools to be closed. While the answer is ultimate, yes, the school will be closed, there are particular guidelines this state follows before making this call.

Missouri states that they consider how long it takes for frostbite to affect skin that is left to the elements and what the most common time their students are out in the cold.

Furthermore, in this state, buses start preparing for the safety of their students in the early, early hours of the morning. At 5 a.m., if the temperature (with the wind chill factored in) is above -17 degrees, schools in Missouri will typically be open.

Again, it is important to stress to always check the local news for the most accurate school closing information.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In West Virginia?

West Virginians take winter weather very seriously. This state has beliefs and guidelines that they follow to keep their students safe.

Parents can also rest assured that typically school delays or closures will be announced by 6:00 a.m. for parents to make their arrangements for the day if schools were to be closed.

Unlike Missouri, which waits to call school until it is -17 degrees, West Virginia says that if it is projected to be colder than -10 degrees at 6:00 a.m., then a delay is likely considered to ensure all safety.

Just like in most states, if school can go on, it will go on. However, the as congruent with other states, student safety is always at the forefront of final decisions made.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Nebraska?

While some states mentioned in this article have much lower thresholds for considering measures to keep their kids safe, the state of Nebraska likes to make sure school can happen if at all possible.

Students and staff are encouraged to layer up and limit exposure to the elements while getting to school. Still, cancellation is not discussed until temperatures reach -30 degrees Fahrenheit with the wind chill.

It is important to note that the state of Nebraska also considers how long the temperatures are going to be subzero.

If these temperatures are not lingering in those negative digits for more than a few hours or a day or two, the school will likely not be canceled.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School in New York?

Many states have mentioned that decisions start at -10 degrees outside or even -13 degrees out, but in the state of New York, cancellations of school are more case by case basis, and not even until temperatures hit -16 to -25 degrees.

This, by far, can be considered one of the most lenient states when considering closing school based on cold weather. Having this information, it is necessary to state that schools do not have laws to abide by when deciding to cancel school due to freezing conditions, but recently many have done so out of caution.

Ensure that if students are out in conditions that are even close to -16 degrees, extreme measures should be taken to ensure that there is as little exposed skin as possible due to frostbite and hypothermia being concerns.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Pennsylvania?

While it may depend on what school district you attend, Pennsylvania, like many other states, really likes to be sure they keep their staff and students safe. Current information states that delays over canceling are always the better option.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Alaska?

While many states delay or cancel school due to cold temperatures, Alaska is not one of them. Alaska will not cancel schools for cold temperatures.

Furthermore, students are still permitted to have recess unless it’s colder than -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

To avoid frostbite or hypothermia, be sure children are equipped with the necessary things to stay warm! Schools are warm, and they can always take layers off at school, but they cannot add once they leave home.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Texas?

Texas has a more conservative approach to canceling school due to cold weather. Once the temperature reaches 20 degrees in Texas, outdoor activities are limited.

When there are cold temperatures in Texas, it is usually followed by inclement winter weather. This will result in school closures. It is good to keep an eye on local news for the most up-to-date school closures regarding brutal cold temperatures.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Iowa?

The state of Iowa, like many other states, is subject to cold winter weather. While there is no known guide, when temperatures reach -25 to -30 degrees, there will likely be school closings. Keep in mind these are wind chill temperatures.

Temperatures this low can result in asthma attacks, pneumonia, hypothermia, and even frostbite. It is always best to be sure children are appropriately dressed when standing at the bus stop or walking to school in conditions such as these.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Michigan?

Michigan is a large state, and the known information that is available gives different degrees for school closures. Some schools say that the school systems will close when the wind chill is -25 or colder.

Some schools in Michigan take a more conservative approach, and they close schools when the wind chill reaches -19 degrees. Michigan schools ultimately want their staff and students to stay safe and will close when temperatures are a safety issue.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Maryland?

In Maryland, it is not typical for the temperatures to be so cold that it threatens the closure of schools.

When temperatures are less than 40 degrees, outdoor activities in some counties are limited to around 30 minutes—especially if the windchill is playing a factor in the temperature.

If cold temperatures are accompanied by precipitation—roads and conditions are monitored starting at 3 A.M for schools to decide to delay or close. It is good to pay close attention to local news outlets for the most up-to-date decisions.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Illinois?

In Illinois, there is a protocol for severe cold. Schools are canceled when wind chill warnings are issued, and temperatures are lower than -30 degrees with the windchill or -15 degrees without a windchill.

School and classes will be canceled, but all activities requiring people to travel outdoors will be canceled. This ensures the safety of all people, staff, and students alike associated with the school district.

How Cold Does It Have To Be To Cancel School In Florida?

It is very unlikely that schools will be canceled for cold weather in Florida. If schools are closed due to the cold in Florida, there will likely be winter weather moving through the state.

When freezing temperatures hit, at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and there is precipitation in the forecast there would be safety concerns. At that time, school districts will choose to make a call to close schools based on the road conditions.

How Can I Prepare For The Cold If School Is Not Cancelled?

Being aware and vigilant are some of the best ways to fight the cold. Many schools will choose to stay open, despite cold weather when possible. But being layered up and ready to tackle the cold is a must.

Layers are essential for core body temperature; gloves or mittens should be considered to keep hands warm and frostbite at bay. Additionally, thick socks and shoes that can withstand the elements should be worn, especially if walking in extremely cold conditions.

If possible, children should ride the bus or ride in a car to school when this extreme weather.

One other thing to keep in mind is in light of recent world events; many schools are now equipped to have virtual learning days.

That might mean children will not have to go to school and face the harshness of the winter, but they can learn virtually at home, where it can be safe and warm.

Keep in mind, while many schools juggle with the decision to stay open or closed due to extreme weather conditions, recess guidelines are much stricter. So, if schools stay open, kids may be faced with indoor recess and activities to maintain safety.

Takeaways Regarding Cold Weather and School Attendance

Ultimately, schools are always going to do what is best for most staff and students. While this might look like canceling school, it may also look like digital learning, or it may be just having school—in the world today, there are many possibilities and circumstances to take into consideration.

However, being prepared is always critical to being safe and successful in a harsh winter.

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