Cold weather causes more school closings

Lockers at Lineville Intermediate School in Suamico, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. (WLUK/Eric Peterson)
Lockers at Lineville Intermediate School in Suamico, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

SUAMICO -  Another result of the cold is the increase in school closings.

With wind chills dipping to a potentially dangerous -35 or colder, most school districts across Northeast Wisconsin have already canceled classes for Tuesday.

Districts build snow days into their calendars, but those days are either being used up quickly, or are already used up.

Should districts plan ahead and allow more days?

At Lineville Intermediate School in Suamico, Wendy Nejedlo is dropping off one of her three school-aged daughters.

“Today was chilly, I made them all dress up with their snow pants and bundle up. Even though my oldest who goes here, didn’t want to,” said Wendy Nejedlo, Howard.

Howard-Suamico School District Superintendent Damian LaCroix canceled Tuesday’s classes Monday afternoon.

“Conferring with our bus company, and looking at the most up-to-date weather forecast. Trying to use the best and most up-to-date data we can to make the right decision,” said LaCroix.

So how do other districts look at cancellations? School leaders we talked to say it’s a tough decision, not taken lightly.

A FOX 11 Fact Check reveals the Green Bay Area Public School District has one snow day built into its school year calendar. So far, the district has already used three days, and will have to make up two. That compares to two days lost in 2012-13, and none in the school year 2011-12. Officials say the district is looking into scheduling more snow days next year.

Appleton Area School District typically has two snow days. This year the district has already used up those days. Last year there were two snow days, and in 2011-12, the district reported zero days missed due to weather.

In Oshkosh, the district has two days built into its calendar. This year those two days have been used. In 2012-13, the district used one snow day, and in 2011-12, there were no days lost due to weather.

School leaders say Howard-Suamico used up its three days, and it will need to make up at least two more days.

“There’s a balance there certainly. Safety has to be our top priority and at the same time, we are a learning organization,” said LaCroix.

Meanwhile parents will try to deal with the weather.

“If it happens, it happens. It’s just a cold year this year,” said Nejedlo.

Howard-Suamico, for example, is scheduled to have its last school day June 10. The superintendent says it’s likely students will be in class later than that.

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