Snow, school and cold temperatures: how school districts make sure students are safe

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The wind and frigid cold temperatures have made for a brutal Michigan winter and as the temps continue to drop, weather conditions become concerning especially for kids who are heading off to school and that’s why school districts all across the region are working together to make sure their students stay safe.

“We have to look hours ahead of time, 24 or 48 hours ahead into the forecast,” said Lansing School District Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul.

Caamal Canul says school officials consider a number of factors when it comes to student safety.

Those include: snowfall amounts, to the temperature and how safe it will be for those who are walking to school or standing at the bus stop.

But school officials also have to make sure they’re following proper protocol.

“We’re given 6 snow days as a grace period but if we have a 7th snow day, we have to make that up,” Caamal Canul stated.

Caamal Canul says if the school district decides not to cancel school because to snow, officials also need to make sure school buses are running on time.

“If we’re not going to call a snow day during a really bad weather day, the buses are going to run late and the kids are going to be outside waiting longer than usual for the bus to show up,” said Caamal Canul.

And that’s when conditions could get dangerous and according to 6 News Meteorologist Erik Kostrzewa, making sure kids are bundled up is crucial this time of year.

“When we talk about wind chills 10 to 20 degrees below zero, that’s when we start to see frostbite concerns in less than 30 minutes but thankfully it will be warm enough where those concerns will be mitigated somewhat,” said Kostrzewa.

Another interesting note is that the Lansing School District must have 75% student attendance every day or it will lose state aid for the amount of kids that are not in school. So when school officials decide not to close school when conditions are bad, that’s a fear they also take into consideration.

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