We are approaching winter in Wisconsin and wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with some guidance on how inclement weather decisions occur in the School District of Waukesha.
Our standard for closing when facing extreme cold is a Wind Chill Warning, which is -35. Our standard for closing for snow or ice is a Winter Storm Warning. When we anticipate bad weather that does not cause us to close schools, you can expect the following:
Doors will be open early so students can come directly into the building.
Dropping students off a bit later than school start is a secondary option for parents, as
opposed to keeping students home all day. We would love to see our kids as much as possible!
When weather is severe, parents certainly have the option to keep students at home if they feel travel to school presents a dangerous situation.
The decision to close schools will be made prior to 5:00 a.m. on any given day. Any later than this impacts buses, media notices, employees driving to school and students coming to schools. The general rule is with anything less than a ‘Winter Storm Warning’ or ‘Wind Chill Warning’ [-35 degrees], we will keep our schools open.
These early morning decisions are generally difficult to make. The weather forecast at 4:30 a.m. may not always be the same as the actual weather at 7:30 am. We also want you to know that we do not have the ability for an early release should the heavy snow decide to come after we are in session. Finding enough bus drivers prior to normal route times and the potential hazard of sending young children to locked homes always creates concern.
Finally, there has been enhanced discussion regarding snow days being a thing of the past due to virtual and distance learning. In the SDW, we have four inclement weather days built into our school calendar and they are generally rare in being used each year. Accordingly, we intend to allow kids and staff to take a deep breath on these days during this unique period in our history and pause learning as we have traditionally. We hope you will get outside, play and relax.
Winter in Wisconsin can be challenging but can also be beautiful. We will work together to keep kids and staff safe while also offering high quality teaching and learning opportunities throughout the upcoming winter months.