How cold is too cold for school?
A high of negative 2 seems about right!!This sort of bone-chilling weather is downright dreadful and makes all of us wish Spring would just hurry up and arrive tomorrow. But here we are staring down high temperatures that may not even reach zero.
We all know this is the sort of cold that can be dangerous and even deadly. It’s the sort of cold that can cause frostbite within minutes and lead to hypothermia, too. In short, the impact of the cold can linger long after the frigid temperatures have lifted and it’s safe to go outside again.
So what do we do if our children take the school bus?
How do we know it’s safe to send them out the door?
What can we do to keep our children and students everywhere safe when temperatures drop so low?
The media asks this question almost every year:
Here in Indiana: https://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/how-cold-is-too-cold-for-children-to-walk-to-school-or-wait-for-the-bus
In our nation’s capital: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2018/01/04/when-is-it-too-cold-for-school/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.855a38318957
In the school transportation trade media: http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15112
Oklahoma has created a handy chart to help parents understand the temperatures
Because we have to think about recess, too: https://peacefulplaygrounds.com/school-recess-when-is-it-too-cold-to-go-out-to-recess/
As a child of the Midwest, I remember school being cancelled during a record-breaking cold snap like we’re experiencing now simply because the buses wouldn’t start. That’s Mother Nature providing a definitive answer when it’s too cold.
But I remember it being a real bummer as there was no snow to play in. Just the sort of cold that made you wonder how our ancestors survived the Midwestern winter before the advent of modern furnaces?
A district in Central Iowa experienced the same a few years ago:
This sort of weather was on our mind back in 2014 when our software engineers were developing the first iteration of the award-winning app, Here Comes the Bus.
We knew from our nearly 20 years of experience serving school transportation officials nationwide that students waiting too long for school buses out in freezing temperatures is one of the factors education administrators consider when deciding when to cancel or delay school.
We also knew instinctively as parents that cold weather like this makes us nervous to send out children outside.
What is the bus breaks down on the route?
What if the bus gets stuck in snow?
What if the driver calls in sick and the substitute fails to drive the route correctly?
So we designed Here Comes the Bus to be the leading GPS-powered school bus tracking app so parents, educators and students would have an extra layer of protection from brutal cold like we’re experiencing now.
But even in our wildest imagination and aspirations did we expect the app to be so successful so quickly. We knew we had a solution that solved a universal problem for parents across America. And we knew we had a solution that could grow and adapt over time to meet the needs of diverse school districts.
In three years the app has more than a million official users and sends more than 5 million messages every month to users from New England to California.
More important for the individual user, it boasts a 99 percent uptime that means families can be nearly certain that it will provide them the essential GPS-powered school bus tracking they need to stay out of the cold until the bus arrives.
It’s a great feeling for us here at Synovia Solutions: to know we’ve invented a tool that so many families rely upon to stay safe and warm when temperatures fall to these scary lows.