Why some schools stay open despite the cold

Hundreds of local schools were closed due to the extreme temperatures while others stayed open Thursday.

"Well I was very surprised, because it's so doggone cold." said Pete Hawkins, a grandparent. "I think this morning, they said with the wind chill it was 21 below. No child should be walking in that."

But Birmingham Superintendent Daniel Nerad said that much thought went into keeping school doors open on such a bitterly cold day.

"I start with some local input, ," he said. "Today it was at 4:15 this morning from our manager of operations who provides me information about these kinds of conditions. Like are our buses running, are they able to run."

That's followed by a conference call with all of the Oakland County School Superintendents.

"We have a meteorologist update us on the current weather and what is forecast for a couple days out," Nerad said.

It's this key information that led many school districts in Oakland County to keep doors open.

"We had updated information that as of 1 a.m. with greater cloud coverage which had the temperatures increase and it was not as low as expected the day before." 

But for Warren Consolidated Schools it was a different story. 

Superintendent Robert Livernois said in a statement: "In our region of the county, temperatures this morning were at dangerous levels during the time that students were expected to be at bus stops and/or walking to school.  As result, it was prudent for us to close."

But even when schools stay open on cold days like today, school officials have advice for parents.

"We want to make sure that the kids are properly clothed when they are coming to school," Nerad said. "And that the roads are clear in order to have them come. But at end of day it's really a decision that individual parents have to make."

Nerad said that most parents chose to send their kids to school Thursday.

"There is nothing that would indicate that this weather has caused people to not have their child in school." 
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