Arctic Blast On Its Way

Dropping temperatures have parents and students concerned


provided by the National Weather Service

The Wentzville School District's Twitter (@wsdinfo) tweeted this infographic from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) when advising students to dress warm for the upcoming chilly days.

By McKenzie Bartels, Liberty High School

There have been a number of inquiries regarding the cold weather advisories for this week and how cold it needs to be close school.

Most people think that if it hits a certain temperature or if we get a certain amount of snow, school will be cancelled, however there is no magic number. It’s not an easy decision and many factors come into play.

There are no national standards for temperature that everyone agrees on for when is too cold for school.

A huge thing that Wentzville takes into consideration is the Nationals Weather Services Wind Chill Chart.

A temperature of 0 degrees and a wind speed of 15 mph creates the windchill of -19 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when most people start getting concerned, because frostbite can occur under 30 minutes at this temperature.

For Wednesday morning, predicted wind chill temperatures may be as cold as -25°F at times.

It’s more complicated than the number on the thermometer or the inches the meteorologists tell us, but overall the decision is always based off the safety of the students.

“There’s not just one thing that determines whether or not if school is cancelled. It depends on a number of different things including road conditions and if the buses are able to warm up or not,”  Mary LaPak, the director of district community relations, said.

Superintendent Dr. Cain takes many things into consideration. He gets in contact with a number of different people, such as the transportation department and he also closely monitors different weather forecasts. He may also even contact other superintendents of other school districts to see what they’re doing.

“In the meantime, as we prepare for falling temperatures this week, we encourage you to dress your child in layers and limit their exposure to the cold. Consider taking the extra time, if you can, to have them wait in your warm car for the bus,” Dr. Cain said.

Wentzville’s main priority is to keep the students safe. If the weather is harmful, then school will be cancelled. It’s best to realize that regardless of whether or not you like snow days the district is keeping everyone’s best interests in mind on a daily basis.

This story was originally published on Liberty Ledger on January 29, 2019.