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School districts consider wind chill when delaying or closing

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dangerous wind chill values hit central Indiana on Wednesday morning. Nearly 100 schools delayed or went to virtual learning, due to the cold weather. 

Most school districts in Indiana said they factor in the wind chill when making their decision and don’t allow students to stand outside if the “feels like” temperature is -19 degrees. Many school districts follow guidance from the National Weather Service wind chill chart. It breaks down when frostbite will happen after a certain amount of time outside.

Courtesy: National Weather Service

Beech Grove officials said if the wind chill is -19 degrees or below,at 7 a.m., they delay school for two hours. If it’s expected to be that cold at 9 a.m. they consider closing. The Carmel-Clay school district has a similar delay and closure procedure. Hamilton Southeastern Schools also follow the wind chill rule of -19 degrees, especially since elementary kids get on the busses first, at around 6:30 a.m.

“As a school district, what we pay attention to is the length of time our students are at those bus stops. When that wind chill is a factor. What the National Weather Service says is a factor as they are standing at the bus stop. What is too long and when does that windchill really start to impact frostbite opportunity,” said Zach McKinney, the Director of Transportation for HSE Schools.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools said in general if it’s below 10 degrees outside, there is a team that comes in early to start the busses, to be sure they’re warm inside when the kids get on.

Most districts said they are thankful snow hasn’t been a big issue so far this Winter.