Local school closures for cold weather based on bus operations

Local school closures for cold weather based on bus operations »Play Video
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Several school districts in eastern Idaho are closing schools as temperatures dip below zero across much of the state.

But in the Treasure Valley, where it's a little warmer, schools have remained open during this cold snap.

And Boise School District spokesman Dan Hollar said, when it comes to cold and school closures, the over-riding question is: Can the school buses even run?

"Whether or not they will start appropriately and whether we can get them going," Hollar said. "We gauge weather systems based on that."

That's also the drill in the Meridian School District, the state's largest.

"We would close if we could not get our bus equipment to operate," said Meridian schools spokesman Eric Exline. "If you get cold enough, diesel engines are hard to start."

And when kids get to school, the school districts want to make they stay warm.

Both the Boise and Meridian school districts have similar policies. When it's 20 degrees or colder, they keep the students inside and there's no outdoor recess.

"There's a little bit of flexibility, in terms of precipitation that's making it worse, or wind chill factor," said Exline. "But on a day like today, the expectation is kids stay inside."

The ultimate authority when it comes to going to school in cold weather lies with parents.
"Parents always have the option to keep their child at home if they believe the weather conditions are dangerous," Hollar said.