MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The wintry weather was to blame for school closures Thursday, but despite freezing temperatures on Friday, classes resumed for tens of thousands of Shelby County Schools students.

Parents and district leaders spoke regarding the combined effort on how to keep the students warm and safe, while educating.  

The frigid forecast had many students darting and dodging as they tried to go from a warm car into a warm school. A grandmother of a SCS student, Rhonda Fitzgerald, said she is doing her part to make sure her grandson stays ready for what Mother Nature dishes out.

“I’ll make sure they have on their long-johns, and they have on their layers of clothes,” Fitzgerald said.

Temperatures started in the teens Friday morning and there wasn’t much of a warm-up by the time school let out, with the temperature feeling like the mid 20’s.

Parents and grandparents we spoke with say conditions like these are twofold. The temperatures can be downright dangerous, but there’s also the cold commute that adds another layer of concern to an already difficult situation.

“It’s dangerous because of the black ice in the streets and maybe you can get sick because it’s too cold,” one parent said. 

SCS leaders told us there is a checklist that they carefully go over for all seasonal transitions, including this one — from checking the heating system, to making sure students are equipped with winter wear with donated coats and scarves collected through Operation Warm Hearts.

It is a collaborative effort with lessons on how to stay safe and healthy in the face of wintry weather.