DANIEL C. CAMERON for GTR Newspapers
In light of frigid temperatures continuing and likely turning even worse in the morning, Union Public Schools will be is session tomorrow, Friday, January 8. This will be the second of the seven snow days built into the school calendar that the district will be using. classes are cancelled for tomorrow as well.
Sub-freezing temperatures force Tulsa Public Schools administrators to close schools for the remainder of the week.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” said Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard. “But we are very concerned about the safety of our students who walk to school or who wait outside for buses.”
More than 14,000 students ride school buses each day. About 25,000 students either walk or ride in personal vehicles to school. Ballard said the fact that many students walk up to two miles to school each day played a major role in making the decision to close schools.
“Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our students,” Ballard said. “We’ve had a number of principals express concerns that their children don’t have adequate outerwear for such extreme temperatures.”
administrators conferred with Jeffrey Goodloe, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Medical Services Authority before making the decision to close schools. is the largest provider of pre-hospital emergency medical care in the state and Goodloe is an expert in emergency and disaster medicine.
“Shutting down a school system as big as Tulsa is a significant event,” said Goodloe. “I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision; but from a medical concern standpoint, these types of temperatures are a significant medical risk.”
Goodloe said children lose body heat quickly if they are exposed to sub-freezing temperatures. Such rapid heat loss can lead to hypothermia or frostbite. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hypothermia (or low body temperature) occurs when a person’s body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Too low of a body temperature affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. Hypothermia is especially dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
The defines frostbite as injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas (most commonly the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers and toes). Frostbite can cause permanent damage to body parts and, in some cases, the need for amputation.
Ballard said the choice of whether to close schools for inclement weather is more obvious when snow and ice on the roads make it difficult for buses to run their routes.
“In reality, [this weather event] is probably more dangerous than a typical snow day,” said Goodloe. “Just because there may not be significant precipitation doesn’t minimize the dangers of sub-freezing weather.”
“In this case, we really had to weigh a different kind of risk,” said Ballard, “and we determined our students would be safest indoors. We can always make up the learning time.”
Volunteer Teachers Training Cancelled Also
The volunteer teacher training session for the media, scheduled for Thursday, January 7, will be rescheduled for a later date.
will notify families and staff of the school closure via the news media, www.tulsaschools.org, Facebook, Twitter, a recording on the main switchboard (746-6800) and automated SchoolConnects messaging. The Education Service Center will remain open.
Area School Closings
Broken Arrow Schools
Fort Gibson Schools
Locust Grove Schools
Oklahoma Union Schools: (in Nowata County)
Pretty Water Schools
TULSA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Tulsa Technology Center
White Oak Schools
- — Mark Somner Jan 6, 09:34 PM #