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Rochester City Schools among those closed Friday due to the bitter conditions

Jan 4, 2018

Credit freeimages.com/Patrick Nijhuis

  UPDATE AS OF 3PM THURSDAY:

The Rochester City School District is closing school on Friday. All school-related activities are also canceled on Saturday.

On Friday, several schools sites with City R-Centers will be open to provide additional support and hot meals to families who may be in need.

They include:

David F. Gantt Recreation Center- 700 North Street

Nathaniel Rochester Community School 3-85 Adams Street

James P.B. Duffy School 12- 999 South Ave.

Enrico Fermi School 17 - 158 Orchard St.

Dr. Charles T. Lunsford School 19 - 465 Seward St.

John James Audubon School 33 -  500 Webster Avenue

Meals will be seved from 9am to 1pm Friday at all locations.

You can check the latest school closing list HERE.  Rochester City School District administrators are being told to report to work on Friday.

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Local school superintendents are weighing a number of factors as they decide whether to cancel classes on Friday.

The forecast is calling for a dangerously low wind chill factor of 25 below to 30 below zero. 

"This year already I'm aware of a few children who have been seen in our emergency department and even hospitalized for frostbite injuries," said Dr. Eizabeth Murray, a pediatrician with UR Medicine. She said frostbite can occur in a matter of minutes when it's that cold. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children don't spent time outside when the wind chills is below -15 degrees. 

Gene Mancuso is superintendent of the Honeoye Falls-Lima School District and president of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents. He says school officials have to consider the number of students who walk or take a bus to school and building safety, among other factors. School districts also get guidance from the Monroe County Health Department about cold temperatures and frostbite and hypothermia.

"Those thresholds are guidelines but each district has to use their own best judgment depending on the conditions at hand."

A spokesman for the Rochester City School District said the availability of rec centers is a consideration when they make decisions about closing school. The district wants to make sure students have a warm and safe place to go during the day.

SAFE BABY SLEEPING

Dr. Elizabeth Murray says when the weather gets this cold, there is always the concern that well-meaning parents might put too many blankets in a crib, or bring their infant to bed with them. She's reminding parents of young babies to practice safe sleep guidelines.

"Understandably, you want to make sure your baby is warm; you want to keep them safe,” she said, “but the safest thing to do is to have them be in their own, safe sleep environment, on their back with a wearable blanket that is not going to be able to cover their face or obstruct their airway in any way."

Murray says an extra layer under the baby's pajamas will also help keep them warm.