How cold is too cold for school? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

How cold is too cold for school?

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Many parents are scrambling this week trying to arrange the safest way for their children to get to school in this frigid cold. Area school districts stress, there have guidelines in place to make sure your children are comfortable once they actually arrive on campus.

Officials said about 25 percent of children take the bus in Spokane. It's uncertain the exact number who are believed to walk. One South Spokane 8th grader who normally walks, is not this week. His dad, Roland Kelley, said he is nervous about both erratic drivers and the bitter cold. Kelley said his family adjusts schedules on weeks like this to drive their children.

"It's bone chilling cold," said Roland Kelley.

We contacted Spokane Public Schools to hear what changes they make when temperatures hit well below freezing. We learned most schools hold recess insides when it is below 20 degrees.

"All decisions on safety of outside activities are made at the school building level by the principal," said SPS Director of Communications, Kevin Morrison. "They are given the guidelines and decide on whether outdoors is appropriate. Some sites may have more protection against wind-chill, or be in areas of more direct sunlight- so even temps do vary. That said- when it does dip into the low teens and single digits, extra caution is observed."

Here is the guideline SPS uses.

"Administrators may also decide to keep younger grades and vulnerable populations indoors, as well as students who perhaps did not come adequately dressed to be outdoors," Morrison said. "I believe you will find that most experts agree that brief periods of outdoor activities for properly dressed children is very healthy. As usual, if a parent/guardian has concerns about their student being outdoors for recess during these extra chilly days, they simply need to communicate that to the school."

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