Too Cold For School?

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HONESDALE -- Schools in the Midwest cancelled school on Monday, not because of the snow, but because of the cold. And it could happen in our area as well, if it gets cold enough.

Some school districts have already used several snow days this year, most of them because of the snow.  Now some districts are eyeing the possibility of closing due to frigid temperatures and wind chills on Tuesday. We spoke to school officials in Wayne County about our rough winter weather.

It’s been an eventful winter to say the least for people living in Wayne County. From a few flakes to several inches, Mother Nature has been making it tricky this year for school administrators.

"It's always a tough call for us but student safety is always the reasons we make those decisions," said Wayne Highlands Superintendent Greg Frigoletto.

For the first time this year some districts will have to figure out whether or not to have school on Tuesday not because of the snow, but because of the cold.

"They definitely shouldn't be in school. I mean, I know they have heat in the schools but that's still too cold for them to be standing out at the bus stop, way too cold,” said Christine Sites of Honesdale.

Sites isn't the only parent who wants her kids to stay home. Deidre Smith who works at Kays Restaurant in Lake Ariel agrees.

"You know, a lot of kids have to be at the school bus, parents have to work and for them to be standing out in the cold just wouldn't be a good idea."

While parents are concerned about the dangerous wind chills, they're also worried about all the snow that has been melting, that will likely freeze, overnight.

"I'd rather have them home than have them on a bus and not know how they're going to make it,” said Luz Otero of Hawley.

School officials at Western Wayne say they will be keeping an eye on the icy conditions as well as the frigid air. They'll also get a consensus of what other local schools plan to do about the cold.

Wayne Highlands Superintendent Greg Frigoletto says, right now they aren't ruling anything out.

"We'll have to determine in the morning whether or not we should be in, whether we should have a delay or whether or not we should try and get in on time. We'll have to gauge a lot of different scenarios of what we'll do. The possibility exists though that there will be some schedule change based on the cold temperatures."

School officials say they will make the call on whether or not cancel or delay school either late Monday or early Tuesday morning.

Click here for the latest school delays and closings.


  • Wayne County Parent

    When you choose to live in the Northeast Climate, then anticipate Northeast Weather. I wonder what the schools in Alaska do.

    Can I suggest all of you overly neurotic parents read “A Nation of Wimps”.

  • Denise morris

    i can not believe central columbia was the only school open today. guessing that was all other schools had the kids in mind when they closed for the day with the cold temps out there.. central has said to several parents that if your child didn’t attend school today they would be marked as illegal …. that’s a bunch of crap !!!!

  • Get a backbone

    Welcome to the new great USA. The home of the can’t do people. Human beings have survived for millions of years through ice ages without indoor heating now all of a sudden it is too cold to do anything but sit on our buts in our warm houses huddled around our electronic devices.

    These same people would blame the school if their children got frostbite. It is your fault as a parent if your child got frostbite not someone else’s since your child is your responsibility. It is called multiple layers of clothing or make your child a cup of hot chocolate to help them stay warm on their way to school. There are precautions we as human beings can take to deal with the cold. The cavemen did it but now today with all of our technology we can’t deal with a little cold?

    This has a lot more to do with a school getting sued than people not being able to survive cold. If they cancelled school everyday it was below zero in Alaska you would have people in their 40’s in 3rd grade.

  • Chiara

    What about making the decision for yourself?
    When I went to school, in a different era and a different country, it was up to the individual family to make the decision. School did not close on snow days, and teachers and children who lived close to the school could still go in any weather (for some poor people, it was warmer in school than at home). Some day, if there was too much snow or ice, the bus could not even make it to the hill tops, then those children would not make it to school. If a student or teacher would be late on a snowy day, because he had to dig himself out, he would be excused. A parent could decide to drive his child to school or walk him, or keep him home, nobody would question his judgement.
    Why do we now need a government official to make a decision on our family’s safety? Can we, as parents and people, no longer think for ourselves?

  • Regan Hutchins

    Everyone commenting about kids waiting for the school bus for 10 minutes….you DO remember lots of kids still walk to school, right? I wouldn’t send my kid out to walk in -35 degree wind chills, and sometimes the parent is not able to give the kid a ride. Nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution.

  • jansen

    My 2 girls were gonna stay home anyways but North Pocono has cancelled as they should have. A district not run by greed

  • jansen

    Pretty sure the people that are commenting against a school day for the cold are by selfish parents that do not want to have to have their kids at home or arrange for a sitter. Even better people with no kids.

  • Cold in Wisconsin

    In SW Wisconsin at 9:30 this morning it was -22, the high today was -10 actual temperature.This is not new to me as I have been out in -25 to -27. I am not a survivalist but I do dress for the weather and was happy when my car started straight away. That being said , they did cancel school here and people did take off work.I ask the question ,why suffer more than you need to? why make let the kids get cold? Even at 0 degrees it,s cold;although I do see some sporting t shirts and shorts when it warms to 10 degrees .Take the day off.Sit by the fire. You can always cut firewood when it’s warm and relax when it’s cold.

  • WNEP News

    Several schools have been cancelled due to the cold weather and harsh conditions. For more information, click on the Weather tab, and then click School Closings.

  • Andy

    You do know that there is a deadline, right. The schools will basically be executed in public if they pass it.

  • Patrick O'Toole

    I don’t remember too many days when it was around -15 (with wind) growing up. This is exceptional weather. Yes my kid would dress in layers covered head to toe and be fine. Not everyone will be as prepared. I agree with your idea that people are entitled and fragile (aka imcompetent).

    • Gimme a Break


      I honestly don’t remember….but I would have to assume that -15 wind chill has happened in the past. I don’t recall ever staying home for cold air….and I highly doubt it’s because we never had comparably cold days. Moreover, -15 wind chill is not the real temp and I doubt that level will be reached during the relevant hours. Maybe 3-4 am is when we’ll hit that rick bottom point. But even if it runs a bit later, the 2 hour delay is an underused tool compared to when I was in school. Use it. I doubt it will be so “dangerously” cold later in the morning.

  • Surprisingly a student.

    The biggest problem lies during the time between leaving the house and arriving to the school.

    • Gimme a Break

      And that’s not even really a true or unique problem. Danger lurks on any day whether you perceive the danger or not. Over-reacting to light snow and cold air may feel good for the fearful but it doesn’t change the fact that there is no more danger than when it’s raining or foggy and hardly any different than a nice day in the final analysis. Just because it’s easier to imagine danger under certain weather conditions, doesn’t mean the likelihood is much greater.

      And again, as I said earlier, all these fearful, overreacting parents went to school under most circumstances that are resulting in closings these days. They did. They really did and they know it. So what is so different now?? Their parents watched them go off to school under these circumstances. But now it’s SO DIFFERENT? No. It’s not. Maybe in their heads it is. But it really isn’t.

    • Surprisingly a student.

      For some reason I can’t reply to your comment directly.

      Do you know how badly kids dress for school? I constantly see kids wearing shorts that walk to school in the normal cold. While parents can force kids to put on more appropriate that odds of having clothes suitable for this weather are very slim. I don’t even have clothes to wear outside in this even with multiple layers on.

  • Ang

    Are you crazy? Yes, every kid in the area wants to be off when it’s cold and in school when it’s warm. Also, for your information at my school we don’t have air conditioning.

  • Ricky

    Wow all you people are nuts!! There is nothing wrong with parents not wanting their children waiting for a bus and possibly getting frost bite. We don’t get negative degree wheater all the time one day off of school is not going to change children’s work ethic when they get older morans!!!

    • Gimme a Break

      Yes, there’s nothing wrong with parents giving in to every simple emotion and fear. What is wrong is when schools enable, validate and embolden these emotions. The fear is not justified. Period.

      You can call people morons for disagreeing with you but it won’t change the validity of the disagreement.

    • Andy

      It is obvious that you are an uneducated, little kid judging by your horrible spelling and grammar.

      When you get older, you’ll realize how important school is to your life and future.

      Besides, days are added to the end of school if we get school closings. That means that due to these closings, you will be getting out of school later than you should be.

  • Robert

    Hahahahahaha! The spelling errors are an indication that you may have missed a lot of school due to snow days. This is our future! Boooo! Lol.

    Also, being cold cannot cause any type of viral sicknesses. Lowering of the body’s core temperature can only cause hypothermia.


    January 6, 2014 at 6:11 pm
    That’s ridiculous why should are children freeze My children are staying home in the warm house are children will get colds and even an ammonia

  • Skyler

    As a student and as much as I don’t want to be stuck in school for longer than I have to in the spring, I feel like safety precautions should be taken. I have to wait for a bus in the morning, and some of my friends have to walk super far to school. Walking on ice and walking in this kind of weather is a health risk. We’re going to be heading into the negatives, it wouldn’t take long for walking student to get frost bite. Taking a bus ride is just as scary. You’re entrusting a bus driver to get all these kids to their destination safely. Accidents can surely happen, and it’s really scary as the passenger. You don’t want that guilt on your drivers and the administrators of our district if something bad were to happen. Today wasn’t as bad as it’s going to be, and I heard about so many people tripping over ice, waiting at bus stops in the cold forever, buses sliding into ditches. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

  • stephanie

    People, it is our jobs as parents to keep our children safe. Stop thinking of yourselves and loss of a days work and think of the safety of your children. How many of you would hmmm and haaa if somethong dire happened to your child. And the american people are the first to file lawsuits when something happens when not in the parents care. Its one day and honestly it will not kill the children or teachers to go an extra day in the spring.

  • Name

    Your argument about parents having to make alternate arrangements makes sense, but telling a student to stay home from school for one day when he is 8 years old is not going to ruin his work ethic for the rest of his life.

    If in the future you find that your employees are lazy, it most likely will have nothing to do with their schools closing tomorrow.

  • Aaliyah

    That’s ridiculous why should are children freeze My children are staying home in the warm house are children will get colds and even an ammonia

    • Tom R

      You are right, whatever you do, do not give your child ammonia! It is bad that they could catch pneumonia, but ammonia would definitely make them sick.

  • jessica

    well i for one will not be sending my kids out to the bus stop if it is too cold tomorrow if there is not delay or closure. They can stay hoe in the warm house snuggled in their pj’s watching Netflix all day so i know they are safe and warm, because you never know how late the buses will be since they can have a hard time starting in negative degree weather.

  • Wayne County Parent

    I sincerely hope the Superintendents at our schools are reading this.

    Thanks for assuming that we the parents are not smart enough to dress our kids as appropriate for the weather.

    What kind of ethic do we teach if we close school because it is a little cold? Business still stay open, and parents still have work. If my employees called off because it was cold out and they did not feel like coming to work they would soon find themselves without a job. Yet it is ok for us to tell our kids “stay home”? I can’t wait to see the work ethic of this generation.

    Let’s also consider that every time school closes, parents with young kids are inconvenienced to make daycare arrangements. They have to do this so they can still tend to their obligations. Guess what that means? Most kids still have to go out in the cold, so Mom and Dad can go to work.

    Sheesh, you have closed school enough. Let’s not disrupt the kids education any more.

    • Surprising a student.

      There is a difference between your workers who have cars that they can heat up before even leaving the house and a student that has to stand at a bus stop (Which according to state law can be up to a mile and a half from the home).

      Then you have the ice factor. Do you want to be the superintendent that has to suffer knowing that not calling off or giving a delay was the reason that a bus ran off the road killing or hurting students.Its not just your student that could suffer its the life of others as well as the bus driver.

      Your point of dressing your child appropriate for the weather is most likely off as well. Depending on age I doubt you will find clothes that are suitable for -10 thru -20 degree weather. That’s what its going to feel like with wind chill. Its a temperature that most people really can’t handle and given the weight of the average elementary/middle school child their bodies wont be able to handle the cold.

      • Wayne County Parent

        “There is a difference between your workers who have cars that they can heat up before even leaving the house and a student that has to stand at a bus stop (Which according to state law can be up to a mile and a half from the home)”.-So the minute handful of students that walk cannot be transported by a parent in their warm car for one day.

        “Then you have the ice factor”-Try to keep up here, we are not talking about ice, we are talking about cold. I have never seen a bus slide off of the road because it was too cold out.

        “Your point of dressing your child appropriate for the weather is most likely off as well. Depending on age I doubt you will find clothes that are suitable for -10 thru -20 degree weather.”-repeat after me “Can you say layers?” Where do you shop? Bermuda?

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