To close or not to close? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

To close or not to close?

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- For anyone who has to be outside, there is a danger of frostbite. The Red Cross says a wind chill of 20 below, which we reached today, will cause frostbite in just 30 minutes. How cold is too cold for school? Thursday night school officials are deciding if they should delay or cancel school tomorrow.

With a forecasted temperature below zero in the morning, it's hard to make that call until the morning. Dubuque Superintendent Larie Godinez says its a collaborative effort that ultimately comes down to safety.

The first snow day of the season many students choose to go sledding. 24 hours later, it's too cold. Wednesday night very few people were on the roads. Thursday night, quite the opposite. But looks can be deceiving.

"Students having to stand out in below zero temperatures. That is a potential hazard for our students," said superintendent Dr. Larie Godinez.

Godinez says the decision to cancel school involves three factors: road conditions, current and forecasted weather and bitter cold temps.

"It takes a lot of people to decide whether we're going to close school and we don't make that decision lightly," said Godinez.

Dr. Godinez says she collaborates with the director of transportation, the city and county as well as other school districts in the area to make the best decision for the district. She says the decision to dismiss early on Tuesday and cancel on Wednesday were due to heavy snowfall and dangerous roads.

"There's just so many factors to take into account but number one is we want our kids to be safe," said Godinez.

She says they also have to take into account rural schools like Sageville and Table Mount, who's students may not life in well plowed areas. But when it comes to cold, there is not specific recipe for school cancellation.

Dr. Godinez says the district has two built in make up snow days. The week of Christmas, December 21st and 22nd. So for now there will be no extension of the school year. The decision for Thursday's school will come Thursday morning.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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