Local school districts close schools Friday due to frigid temperatures

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The dangerous cold caused several school to close on Friday. Buffalo Public Schools and Lockport school will be closed January 5th. Other districts say they haven’t made the call just yet.

The sign at Niagara Falls High School reads that it’s 23 degrees as of Wednesday night. With wind chills expected to be well below zero Friday, many parents are calling for school to be closed.

“We have received calls of why don’t you close now, make sure that you do close, I’m not sending my child,” said Mark Laurrie, Niagara Falls City School superintendent.

Mark Laurrie says he’s keeping an eye on the forecast and will make a decision whether to close schools Thursday. He says the safety of students is the priority, especially since he says a third of the Niagara Falls student population walks to school or a bus stop.

“It’s not worth having one student or one child suffer frostbite so we usually air on the side of caution in closings schools,” said Laurrie.

Buffalo Public Schools and Lockport schools have decided to close Friday.

BPS says districts look at the state department of education’s website which includes cold weather guidelines.

Most districts consider closing schools when there’s a wind chill advisory of 25 below zero. Laurrie says administrators from different districts all talk to each other about those factors.

“I also have to think about parents that work, we have many parents who work, grandparents who work, kids who need childcare and that’s why we want to make the call as early as we possibly can,” said Laurrie.

Laurrie says no matter how cold it is it’s ultimately up to parents whether they want to keep their child home.

Most districts in our area factor in extra days to prepare for this. Administrators also ask that parents make sure your child’s school has your current telephone and email contact information so they can reach out to you when a decision is made. Niagara Falls High School has already used its two snow days after a water main break near the school last month. If school closes Friday, Laurrie says the high school will have to make it up.

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