Despite Harsh Wind Chill Westside Holds “Go-Day” On Thursday


Aayushi Chaudhary

Westside Community Schools recently emailed a district wide statement regarding the closure of all district facilities effective from Saturday, March 14 to Friday, March 20.

Westside Superintendent Mike Lucas announced on Thursday morning, Feb. 13, that a full “go-day” was going to be held. This came despite a wind chill advisory and very low wind chills. Lucas released the following statement about the weather via twitter. 

“Typically, for a ‘cold day’, where we would cancel school, it would need to be projected to be -26 wind chill or colder for a sustained period of time,” Lucas said in his tweet. “Today’s forecast doesn’t meet that threshold. Some will like our decision to have school today, others may not. As always, do what you feel is best for your family.” 

Despite Lucas’ statement, wind chills were projected to be lower than -26 within the district by many sources. For example, Accuweather projected a “RealFeel” of -29. In addition, at approximately 6:00 a.m., the observed wind chill was -26. Assistant Principal Trudi Nolin elaborated on the meaning of “a sustained period of time”. According to Nolin, this doesn’t apply to the morning commute temperatures, but to the entire school day. 

“[The low wind chills are] not for a full day, it’s just for right away this morning,” Nolin said. “The only difficulty is probably those just getting to school. It wasn’t to last as long. Sometimes when we’ve had cold days, it was supposed to last past noon.”

Nolin also mentioned some problems with buses on Thursday morning, but said that she could not confirm that they were weather related. 

“There were a couple of buses that were running late, but I’m not sure if it was weather-related, if they wouldn’t start,” Nolin said. “Otherwise, I have not heard from attendance [about] a lot of different calls. Like Dr. Lucas had put out, if [parents] didn’t feel safe having their child attend, that certainly, they did not have to attend. It was their choice as a parent.”

Westside staff are required to still report to school even when school for students is canceled because of the cold. According to Student English Teacher Derek Porter, the full day was a good idea because of the actual conditions, not the forecast. 

“Stepping outside my house this morning, you tend to know a clear difference on days where it’s just too cold and days where you think that you can probably go, and I think that if it had been [colder] outside, or maybe had snow on the ground, we might have had a delay or a day off,” Porter said.

Freshman Kaden Simpson said that he, along with many other students, disagreed with the official decision to have school.

“Yes, I think we should have had the day off,” Simpson said.