BROWN DEER (WITI) – School districts made alternate plans early this week to adjust to the cold weather. On Tuesday, January 22nd, with single digit temps and the wind chill making it feel like -25, the only safe option for school administrators was to keep their students inside.
“Their morning arrival consisted of getting off the bus and coming right into the school building, so there was no outdoor time,” Dean Elementary School Principal Kortney Smith said.
At Dean Elementary in Brown Deer, recess was moved indoors. The kids either got to play in the gym or do activities in a classroom.
“If the temperature is 15 degrees or below or if the wind chill factor is zero or negative, we don't go outside for recess,” Smith said.
Smith said in the afternoon when the students are dismissed, they'll repeat the same exit strategy.
“The kids will go from inside directly to the buses or their parents,” Smith said.
In sub-zero weather, it could take only 15 to 20 minutes for frostbite to occur on exposed skin. The office is stocked with extra hats, scarves and gloves.
“Typically, if a teacher observes a kid missing supplies, we'll make sure they lend supplies to them,” Smith said.
Office staff also sent phone call alerts to parents to make sure their kids are dressed appropriately for the next day.
The decision to keep kids inside is made on a daily basis, after checking the weather.
Milwaukee Public Schools also implements the same policies.