As we enter the winter months, we will again be watching weather patterns more closely, particularly when we may need to make decisions that impact student transportation and the safety of our students and staff.
The Waunakee Community School District takes all decisions to delay, close, or dismiss school due to inclement weather conditions very seriously. These decisions impact thousands of people within our community, and we therefore would like to provide you with a short overview of the process for determining school closures, delays, or early dismissals, and what is considered when making these decisions.
We watch the weather very closely in the winter months. On nights when the weather is forecasted to cause any issues that might impact our students arriving safely at school, we are assessing the situation at 4:45 a.m. and try to make decisions by 6:00 a.m. that morning. Once a decision is made about a closure or a delayed start, this information is added to our website and posted to local television and radio stations. We will also share information via email and text with parents once a decision is made to close/delay school.
For snow or ice related conditions, Lamers Bus Company has individuals checking the roads in different parts of our school district. The timing of the snow and/or ice, how much snow/ice has fallen/accumulated or is predicted, and how conditions may impact getting students to and from school are all taken into consideration when making a decision related to weather.
For cold weather-related closures, the main indicator is the wind chill factor. If the wind chill factor generates a Wind Chill Warning (-35 sustained wind chill), as determined by the National Weather Service, we will close for the day. We will hold school during a Wind-Chill Advisory.
Additionally, depending on the weather conditions and the forecast for the day, a 2-hour late start may be utilized. A two-hour late start simply moves all bus routes and school start times two hours later. On days when a two-hour late start is in place, there will be no AM 4K or Early Childhood programming. The PM 4K and PM Early Child Programming will run as normal, on these days.
Finally, if there is ever a time that we hold school and you do not feel that it is in the best interest of your child to attend based on your assessment of the weather, please know that we respect your decision as a parent and will excuse those absences. Please communicate with the school office if you make this decision for your child.
We understand that calling inclement weather days can cause disruptions for our families and staff. The decisions we make take into consideration the safety of ALL of our students, families, and staff within the Waunakee Community School District attendance areas. Our team will strive to make the safest, most prudent weather related decisions relying on weather experts from the National Weather Service, their forecasts, and information from our other partners in Waunakee and Dane County.
In the event of school and activity cancellations, the district will use all available media to communicate effectively to you. It’s important that your email/phone numbers are up-to-date and included in Infinite Campus and Skyward (staff).
Our School Messenger service will be used to send an email to all staff and the family members of each student listed in Infinite Campus.
A text message will be sent via Messenger. Please note that you have to opt-in to receive a text message. Sign-up for district text alerts by sending a text message with the word “YES” or “Y” to the code 67587.
Information will be shared on local television stations.
An update will be available on our district website as a pop-up.