Too cool for school

Ethan Gustafson, Reporter

With the northern hemisphere having performed its annual tilt-away-from-the-Sun routine, the citizens of Brookfield can only hope this winter won’t be another record breaker. The challenges this season bring are not in short supply, and are far more trying than anything the other three have to offer.

However, the only winter-exclusive nuisances closing Elmbrook Schools anytime soon are wind-chilled temperatures reminiscent of a full-body plunge into liquid nitrogen.

One of the main priorities of the Elmbrook School District is to ensure the safety of its students on their way to and from school. Naturally, this can become difficult if the temperature, reduced by wind chill, falls to a certain point.

Just how cold is too cold for school? When asked for her opinion, Aislinn Berry (‘15) responded, “-20 degrees below with wind chill”. While many news and weather resources consider this temperature to be “extreme cold”, on mornings like these, students will just have to grin and bear it.

According to the Elmbrook School District website, “-35 degrees below” is the minimum temperature required for the cancellation of school due to temperature. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that at this wind chill temperature, frostbite can develop in as little as ten minutes where skin is exposed. Such would prove to be hazardous to students waiting for the bus or trekking to school on foot, therefore, calling off school would be a wise decision in this particular extreme.

The decision to cancel is ultimately made by Dr. Mark Hansen, the superintendent of Elmbrook Schools. In addition, “Superintendents in Waukesha County share information and discuss their plans to stay open or close frequently throughout the process.”, again stated on the Elmbrook website.

It should be noted that closing school isn’t the only option considered by the superintendent. If poor weather conditions plague the morning, but are expected to improve with time, the start of classes can be delayed, and first block would begin two hours later at 9:55 AM. Likewise, if the weather worsens as the day progresses, students can be dismissed from school early.