Central Illinois schools take on new snow day policies

Local News

Dangerous wind chills forced some school districts to take a snow day.

Many Central Illinois schools have already missed several days so far this year, but some districts are developing a work around for those situations.

“It may be too cold for kids to stand outside very long but students in the Tremont School District went to school Friday.

“We were watching it closely, all through the day yesterday, and then this morning,” said Jeff Hinman, superintendent of Tremont School District.

Hinman says deciding to close schools for a day can be tough.

“Every superintendent has had a number of sleepless nights in the last couple of weeks, because this pattern seems to stay with us,” said Hinman.

Even when there’s no snow or ice, wind chills can play a role in the decision.

“Our magic number is probably negative 25, but again, there are a lot of factors,” said Hinman.

A – 25 windchill can cause frostbite in as little as thirty minutes to any exposed skin, but some students will now be able to avoid frostbite and still continue learning.

“We have taken some steps in the last week to put packets together for grade school kids. At the high school, we have a laptop for all of our kids, and at the middle school, we have a chrome book,” Hinman said. “Students will go online, we use google classrooms mostly, and we’ll have activities for them to do, and they will either submit them through google classrooms or bring in the work when they come back to school,” said Jamie Freeman, 5th grade teacher of Tremont School District.

Teachers like Jamie Freeman are on board with the decision, but some students would rather play in the snow.

“We’ve only talked to them about it, there was some mixed emotions about it. They’re excited that they don’t have to make up the days, but they’re kind of sad that they will have work to do on that snow day,” said Freeman.

“I think it’s a well we don’t want to go to, too often, because we want the kids here, we want students in our building,” said Hinman.

The Tremont School District only used two snow days so far this year, but with more snow and dangerously low temps in the forecast, that could change.

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