If you or your kids have ever unsuccessfully tried using the excuse, "it's too cold to go to school today," Tuesday, it might actually work.

With wind chills reaching sub-zero temperatures, school districts spent Monday deciding whether to close, delay or remain open.

"The weather is always a challenge," said Dana Tofig, spokesman for Montgomery County Public Schools, where schools are operating as normal Tuesday.

But it has been a while since schools have had to deal with conditions this cold.

"It's been a long time - probably about 15 years," said Sam Steffanelli, acting director of building services for Prince George's County Public Schools, operating under a two hour delay.

With conditions reaching dangerously cold levels, school districts that are choosing to open Tuesday are working overtime to make sure schools and buses are ready.

"We've prepared the buildings to operate in an occupied state, which means the heat is going to stay on as if the building is occupied," said Steffanelli.

Montgomery County might have a bit more work ahead of them, considering they're opening when temperatures are expected to be around 7 degrees and wind chills at -10 degrees.

"We're going to have our maintenance staffing our buildings early to make sure the heating in the buildings is working properly and to address any issues to do so quickly. Our school bus drivers will be at the depots early Tuesday to make sure that the buses are ready to run and if not we can address any mechanical issues or find a replacement bus," explained Tofig.

Busses will be a focal point for operating school districts. A broken down bus could leave students waiting outside at bus stops in dangerously cold conditions.

"We will be using our engine pre-heaters Tuesday. Mechanics will be coming in early to help and aid and assist in starting busses," said Mark Dreszer, garage operations supervisor for Prince George's County Schools.

He added, "The two hour delay, allows that the sun will be up and temperatures will be rising."

By then, schools hope, temperatures will be warmer and not as harsh on students waiting for buses and walking to school.

During school, outdoor activities like recess and gym will take place indoors.

Tofig said, "Really what it comes down to is are we able to open our schools safely and we will be able to open our schools safely."

Click here for a list of school closures across the DC region.

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