Cold weather school closures: not an easy decision

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) -  Lockport City School District officials posted a closure notification on its website Wednesday, making it the first district in western New York to cancel school Friday on account of the cold.

“In this particular weather event, the wind-chill and the temperatures predicted by the National Weather Service was below our threshold,” said Superintendent Michelle Bradley. That’s why the district made the call ahead of most others. Bradley said she didn't believe the forecast would fluctuate to a degree of safety for its students. Staff will still have to report. 

Like most other districts, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District waited until Thursday afternoon to cancel school. 

Stephen Bovino is the school superintendent. He said one reason they waited was scheduling. The district only has four days built into its calendar where it can close school. “We still have an eye on those days which then eat in to other calendar events later in the year, which cause further confusion for folks.” Ultimately though, student safety is chief among the reasons school officials chose to cancel.

Niagara Falls City School officials considered the same criteria. But, they also put an emphasis on those who walk to school. After all, about 2,300 or one-third of students walk to school on any given day. “It's not worth one student having frostbite or being injured in some way when we can close down school for the day,” Superintendent, Mark Laurrie explained. 

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