@nelkins: I've experienced temperatures around 0F here in UK but not, I must admit, as the maximum. In the 1962-3 winter, the dawn temperature in my bedroom was -10C (14F). The previous winter, I had a dusting of snow lying on the inside window-ledge for three days.
Schools closing in the UK for a sprinkling of snow is a recent phenomena. They never closed when I was at school ('49-'62) though we were let off early one afternoon when I was about 5 or 6 years old because of fog; the visibility was no more than three yards - an interesting walk home for me.
In the winter of '47, one man my father knew had to walk to the factory where he worked through snow up to his waist, cutting across fields at times, or lose his job. The straight-line distance was about 11 miles.
@lupo: Your mention of an electric fence reminded me of the early days of this "new town" I live in. There are many pedestrian underpasses here and one was designed with a particularly steep slope but they'd designed it to have under-path electrical heating to melt any ice. On one of the first days it needed to be used, a dog stopped for a pee and was electrocuted. The heating was never used again.
Where I come from in Colorado (North America), it is not unrealistic for the high temperature of the day to be zero Fahrenheit (around minus 20 Centigrade).
No, schools do not close, and you are expected to be at work at the same time.
I expect this is true for much of the topside of Europe, as well as in Canada, Iceland, Greenland, and Russia.