BAY COUNTY, Fla. - As much of the East Coast deals with snow and freezing temperatures, here in the Panhandle we are also seeing an abnormally cold week. Nonetheless, classes have been held as usual for Bay District Schools.
Students may have returned to the classroom following winter break but the playgrounds are empty as cold temperatures force schools to makes some schedule changes.
"Generally we are walking around the walking track after breakfast but we have all activity indoors including recess," said Southport Elementary School principal Holly Buchanan.
Southport Elementary School, like many other schools, is doing their best to make sure all their students stay warm.
"Our parents are amazing. They bring in old clothing such as jackets and all, and we can wash them and dry them, and re-purpose them and give them out to kids who need them," said Buchanan.
The district is easing up on the dress code this week allowing kids to dress in their warmest clothes despite color requirements.
"This is very abnormal. Typically when we have a cold snap like this is only lasts for one or two days," said Bay District Schools Executive Director of Operations Dr. John Haley.
The heat was turned off during the break to conserve energy but because of the cold snap they have let the boiler run 24/7 since school started back up.
The cold temperatures also led to the district to get a head start on the semester starting up busses on Tuesday, a day early, to make sure they were running.
"We still had four buses that were not cranking, the same buses they were cranked up Tuesday would not Wednesday!" said Dr. Haley.
But even after all their hard work preparing, some problems are bound to occur.
"You think you got it, you think everything is 100 percent...it will be 100 percent one moment then the next day things happen," said Dr. Haley.
School district officials said they determine school closings on a day to day basis with the students safety being their top priority.
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