TOLEDO, Ohio — Bitterly cold conditions turned frigid after Saturday’s storm, bringing temperatures into the single digits and wind chills as low as 15 to 20 degrees below zero. While most northwest Ohioans and southeast Michiganders are very familiar with school closures due to heavy snowfall bringing about poor roadway conditions, frigid temperature closings may be a less obvious, but still important, reason.
Washington Local Schools (WLS) announced Monday afternoon around 3 p.m. the district would be closed the following day due to icy lots, sidewalks and sub-zero temperatures, according to the social media post. By 6 a.m. Tuesday, at least 20 schools in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan canceled school and nearly 50 others announced a two-hour delay.
Though some snow fell Tuesday morning, WLS superintendent Kadee Anstadt explained, for her district, that while road conditions were a factor, the closure was prompted by extremely cold temperatures that pose a danger to students.
“Our threshold to close is 19 below [zero] wind chill,” Andstadt said of the district.
The cold temperatures also made roadways more difficult to salt, she said, because ice does not work as effectively below certain temperatures.
Anstadt explained decisions to close the district come from having to consider the needs and wellbeing of the whole district.
“It’s always a combination of factors… I’m responsible for 8,000 people, and there’s not a lot of people that get up every day and say, 8,000 lives are in your hands, but there’ in mine,” she said. “So I think about teachers and classroom aides and bus drivers that have to navigate lots where the ice is sometimes thick. I gotta keep them safe, too, not just our kids, but our adults.”
With additional cold temperatures and more snow forecasted later this week, further school cancellations and delays in the area may be possible.
To see a list of the latest closings and delays any time, click here.
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