A Word about the Weather & Cold Temperature Guidelines

Dear Parents:

While we never like to cancel school, the safety of our families and staff is our first priority. With extreme winter weather upon us, we'll be keeping a close eye on conditions this week.

Please know:

If a wind chill warning is announced for our area by the National Weather Service, school will be closed. A wind chill warning indicates life-threatening conditions and a risk to safety. Wind chill warnings are typically issued when wind chill temperatures may reach or fall below -25°F.

In the case of a wind chill advisory or other snow/weather event, school closings are decided on a case-by-case basis and depend on several factors. DVWS no longer follows Wauconda School District's lead for school closings, though we take area school closings into consideration when making our decision.

We make every attempt to decide on closings by 9 p.m. the night before school, but sometimes we must wait until morning to evaluate the situation. If a decision is made in the morning, the announcement will be made by 6:30 a.m. An all-school email will be sent as soon as a decision is made. After sending the email, we post to the Emergency Closing Center website.

When we are at school, it is delightful to watch our students enjoy the winter fun, and they enjoy themselves most when they are dressed for the weather! Please be advised of our cold temperature guidelines for outdoor play:

Cold Temperature Guidelines

Children benefit from vigorous exercise and should be given the opportunity to play outside whenever possible. Unless it is snowing heavily or there is dangerous ice on the playground, low temperatures should not be a barrier to outside play, as long as children are appropriately dressed. The Health Department strongly encourages outdoor play periods on the vast majority of winter days.

No outdoor activities during blizzards or sleet. Children should not play on frozen or icy equipment. Sledding is to be monitored for safety.

If the wind chill factor is 0-20°, outside play is advised provided that students are appropriately dressed and under observation to make sure that they are wearing their coats, hats, gloves, pants, and boots.

When wind chill factors are below 0°, exposure should be brief and children should be observed closely for any signs of cold.

When the wind chill factor is below -20°, children will not be allowed to go outside.

When wind chill temperatures are below 20° ALL children must wear the following 5 items:

  1. Winter coat
  2. Winter hat
  3. Gloves/mittens
  4. Adequate footwear
  5. Snow pants

DVWS recognizes that some children tolerate cold temperatures better than others, but there will be no exceptions to this rule when wind chill temperatures are below 20°. Please feel free to leave an extra set of winter clothing at school so your child is always prepared. If you have items that you'd like to donate to the "borrowing basket," please send them to school. Students in grades 5-8 may be subject to a detention if they are not dressed according to the policy.

As always, we use our best judgment and err on the side of caution in considering student safety in outdoor weather.

Stay safe and warm!

Christine Grafft
Da Vinci Waldorf School

Morgan Branson
Morgan Branson
Articles: 1677

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