Wind chill, snow factor into school closings

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ILLINOIS (WAND) – Illinois schools have steps to consider before deciding to cancel classes in the winter.

Districts in Champaign, Springfield and Decatur all take wind chill and temperatures into account when deciding whether school can happen. They also have to be sure buses can properly start.

District 61 in Decatur has canceled all classes and activities on Thursday, Jan. 4, citing wind chill and frigid temperatures. The district has not decided if classes will happen on Friday.

In Warrensburg-Latham District 11, leaders say they become concerned about removing snow right after it falls.

“Snow removal takes place a lot quicker in the cities because they are making sure everyone can get around,” said Warrensburg-Latham High School Principal Ken Hatcher. “Also, you have a lot more traffic in the cities, so some of our side roads that don’t maybe get as much traffic don’t have the opportunity to get rolled over as quickly (or get) the chance to knock down some of that snow and ice.”

Closing decisions often happen before school might start. Springfield schools decide by 5:30 a.m., while Champaign schools make a ruling by 6 a.m.  

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