Just as area schools planned their return to classes after Christmas break, they also faced the prospect of a “snow day” becoming a “cold day” as single digit temperatures and even lower wind chill factors threatened area students and raised the possibility of classes being cancelled.

Just as area schools planned their return to classes after Christmas break, they also faced the prospect of a “snow day” becoming a “cold day” as single digit temperatures and even lower wind chill factors threatened area students and raised the possibility of classes being cancelled.

“I know the wind chill factor likely has brought it down to the deep negatives and that is concerning,” noted Paul Padoleski whose two sons were scheduled to return to class at Northwood Elementary school in Hilton on Tuesday. “There are some risks that kids have if they go into school when it’s -20 wind chill, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they did end up canceling school because of that.”

Several Monroe County School districts told News 10 NBC they were taking their guidance from the county’s Department of Public Health. In November, the county’s Commissioner of Public Health Michael Mendoza sent a letter to the county’s school superintendents in which he suggested “I recommend that us use a wind chill of about -25° as the temperature to consider closing schools.”

In the letter, Mendoza pointed out that at a wind chill of -25°, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in about 30 minutes.

School systems, like Spencerport, post charts -- like this one from the federal government -- to give parents an idea of what to expect as they stand by to make their decisions, probably around 4:30 a.m., as families try to prepare, even for that short trip to the bus stop.

The Padoleski family acknowledged frigid weather was part of the territory for a family in the Rochester area, bundling themselves up for an evening of ice skating in Greece, but said the conditions presented a special problem for kids trying to get to and from school.

“You’re not moving around when you’re waiting out for the bus but when you’re ice skating, you’re moving around and going fast,” said David Padoleski, a 6th grader.

“Once it hits zero especially, definitely, time to put those extra layers on,” said David’s mother Laura. “Even being out there a minute, they can just get so cold. Yeah, take extra precautions. Make sure they’re good and warm.”