Wisconsin winters typically presents transportation challenges for us all. Certainly, that is true for getting students and staff to and from school as safely as possible. Many days we are faced with the difficult decision of whether to start school on time or cancel the school day altogether. As district leaders make a decision, our most significant concern is the safety of our students and staff.
How a decision is made
On questionable weather mornings, we watch the radar, watch and listen to local and regional weather experts, and communicate with other area district leaders who may also be considering a delay or cancellation. Snow accumulation, along with ice and freezing rain, are all factors we consider when making the call. Wind chill warnings of 35 degrees below zero or colder, generally lead to a decision to cancel school for the day.
Delay, early release, and cancellation
A delay in the start of the school day means that school will begin two hours later than normally scheduled. For example, if school normally begins at 8:00 am, a delay will push the start time back to 10:00 am. If your child rides the bus, s/he will board the bus two hours later than normal. A decision to close school early due to weather conditions is referred to as an early release. Canceling the school day altogether occurs when the weather or road conditions are not expected to improve at all.
The safety of students is of the utmost importance. Families are notified via Infinite Campus. A message is sent in voice, email and text forms using contact information provided at registration. We encourage families to check local television and radio stations for up to date news. The District website and Facebook page are also great resources for information about school delays and cancellations.
Keeping your child home
If you believe it is unsafe for your child to attend school because of the weather conditions, we respect your decision. If we do decide to keep schools open, please be assured that we will do our best to keep your children safe while they are in our care.
Dressing your children for the weather
Our elementary principal watches temperatures and wind chills closely to best determine if recess will be held inside or outside. Please send your children to school dressed for the weather.
School Closing Information
Fall River School District
With winter upon us, we would like to offer the following information and suggestions to you regarding our policy on the closing of the Fall River Schools. We hope this information will help you understand the procedures we use when confronted with the sometimes difficult decision to run or close schools during inclement weather.
Weather in and around the Fall River School District is monitored constantly by school officials throughout the winter months. In the event that weather predictions suggest that it could be questionable to operate the schools, a “first alert system” is made operational. This means that an early assessment of road and weather conditions is made on the day in question (usually by around 5:00 am).
Should conditions appear doubtful or deteriorating, a “second alert system” is mobilized. Generally speaking, between 5:00 am and 5:45 am, administrators and our transportation coordinator is in contact with various departments (highway department, sheriff’s department, and weather agencies) and surrounding local school districts, in order to make the final determination to close or keep schools open.
When the decision is made to close schools, an Infinite Campus message will be sent, our Facebook page will be updated, and radio and TV stations are notified. It is also possible that school will operate with a delayed start or dismiss early depending on what the weather may dictate. Please keep the following in mind:
- When conditions are questionable, tune your radio to the following radio and TV stations, and check any messages from Infinite Campus.
|Beaver Dam||WBEV-1430 AM and WXRO 95.3 FM|
|Madison||CBS 3 Channel3000.com|
|Madison||WKOW – TV Ch. 27|
- Have a plan for your children to stay with a neighbor or friend in the event you will not be home. Have a plan for your children should we have to send students home earlier than usual.
- Insist that your children dress appropriately so that they are protected against the cold and wind chill factors. Have older children help be responsible for younger ones.
- Except in emergencies, please do not call the schools. Telephone lines are a major link to the schools. Our ability to act in emergency situations is greatly reduced when telephone lines are tied up with information requests.
Know that we care and are concerned about the safety of your children. Know that weather conditions are often unpredictable and that decisions must be made very early based on the best information available at the time of decisions. Know that due to the complexity of transportation services and driver availability issues, a full two (2) hours may elapse from the time a decision is made until the last child can be delivered home. Know that part of certain routes may need to be altered on very hazardous days.
When the school closes early, all elementary, middle, high and special education children who ride regular buses will be picked up in their regular location.
Finally, we have to make a final decision and so do you. Our decision is to determine whether or not to hold school. Yours is whether or not to send your child (ren) to school when the weather is threatening. We will always respect your decision, whatever the case.
Be assured that, like you, ensuring student safety is at the forefront of our decision making process. Thank you for your support!
Brian Zacho – Fall River Middle/High School Principal
Ryan Verrier – Fall River Elementary School Principal