Plainfield Schools: 'Plan For School to be Open' Despite Extreme Cold

Plainfield schools are keeping an eye on the forecast as dangerously cold temperatures could lead to emergency closings in some areas.

This is the National Weather Service’s latest wind chill chart. Please note that temperatures listed in dark blue area are one where frostbite can occur within 15 minutes or less. | Credit: www.crh.noaa.gov/ddc/?n=windchill
This is the National Weather Service’s latest wind chill chart. Please note that temperatures listed in dark blue area are one where frostbite can occur within 15 minutes or less. | Credit: www.crh.noaa.gov/ddc/?n=windchill
Plainfield schools are scheduled to be back in session next week.

But a forecast that's calling for temperatures reaching 5 below to 17 below zero—and feeling like 20 below to 25 below with the wind chill index—leaves the possibility that local schools will extend the break at least an extra day for safety reasons.

As of Friday afternoon, Plainfield schools have said classes will resume as scheduled. The following message was posted to the District 202 website Friday as part of an Education Partners newsletter:

"District officials are aware of the predictions for extreme cold early next week and will continue to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, at this point, we expect school to be held on Monday. Please plan accordingly – make sure your children are dressed appropriately, or if possible, please drive them to school. Of course, parents can always keep their kids home if they feel conditions are unsafe.

We will notify you as soon as possible through the usual outlets (Connect-ED, the media, the Internet) if we decide to close school.

This is the most current information available. Please do not call your school or the district office."

Click here for information on District 202's school closing policy.

Check back with Patch for updated school closings information. Closings can also be found at EmergencyClosings.com.

What's Too Cold?

Temperatures are expected to hover between 5 below and 17 below zero over the next days, with a wind chill index around 20 below to 25 below, according to the National Weather Service. The agency also is forecasting that wind speeds will reach 20 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph. 

That combination can lead to hypothermia—when the body loses more heat than it can produce—and frostbite, which can set in within 15 minutes once it reaches dangerously cold temperatures. Check out the wind chill index chart in this article to see what levels those are. And go to the agency's wind chill page for more information.

YOUR TURN: Do you think schools should cancel classes because of the extreme cold? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Plainfield Resident January 04, 2014 at 09:14 PM
Tracie, Plainfield does have emergency/weather days built into the school calendar. They do it every year. You can find them on the school districts web-site. This year the emergency/weather days are May 27 - May 30 and June 2.
im_mimi January 05, 2014 at 11:29 AM
David Johnson, I think you are judging others by your own fortunate situation of being able to take days off when your children have to stay home when they are not sick. Sometimes it's not a matter of choosing your job over your children, it's a matter of having to work in order to maintain a decent lifestyle for your family. In saying that, I have to emphasize that if the school district closes in view of the extreme cold I agree that the decision should be made by this evening so childcare arrangements can be made. **Can I call you Mr. Johnson, since you will obviously be staying at home?
David Johnson January 05, 2014 at 11:46 AM
im_mimi All parents should have A B C D E and F plans for the care of their children. It's that important. If a day off school for the kids throws a parent's entire world into chaos, that's a lack of planning on the parent's part. All these parents who complain about days off school and what it does to their work schedule are not victims, they're just poor planners.
Jim Babaniotis January 28, 2014 at 02:40 PM
Too cold for school? Growing up with PHS, classes were cancelled like once. I believe that we had 6 foot snow drifts? I don't think school should be cancelled based solely on the temps being cold. If parents feel they need to keep their kids home, fine. But there are a lot of working parents who's jobs didn't cancel work because it is too cold, and may not be able to arrange care.
Herc January 28, 2014 at 02:48 PM
It will be warmer tomorrow so there should be school. But like you Jim, school was never closed when I went.


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