The Washington Post

Why do schools open when it feels like 4 below outside?

Dennis Oliva, of Hammonton, shovels snow along Horton Street, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Hammonton, N.J. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Michael Ein) MANDATORY CREDIT. .(AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Michael Ein)

According to the Weather Channel,  it is 12 degrees Fahrenheit in Newark., but it feels like 4 below outside because of the wind chill. According to the Star-Ledger, “treacherous driving conditions” on Wednesday morning “prompted school officials to cancel classes in most of Essex County.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

Belleville – closed
Bloomfield – closed
Caldwell-West Caldwell – closed
Cedar Grove – closed
East Orange – closed
Essex County Vocational Schools – closed
Essex Fells – closed
Fairfield – closed
Glen Ridge – closed
Irvington – closed
Livingston – closed
Millburn – closed
Montclair – closed
Newark traditional schools – 10 a.m. delayed opening
Newark charter schools – closed (blogger Bob Braun reported)
North Caldwell – closed
Nutley – closed
Orange – closed
Roseland – closed
South Orange-Maplewood – closed
Verona – closed
West Essex Regional – closed
West Orange – closed

Urban school districts that stay open in bad weather often do so because many students need the free or reduced-price meals they get at school. But how cold and treacherous do conditions need to be to start worrying about other kinds of risks to kids and adults trying to get to school?

Newark wasn’t the only New Jersey school district to open on Wednesday — a few others did too  — but why? What am I missing?





Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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Valerie Strauss · January 22, 2014

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