Dear Families of Washburn School District Students,
When weather is an issue, the Washburn School District follows a set of guidelines for deciding if school will be open or closed.
The district must make a decision that is the best for all students. We realize, at times, our decisions may not fit with your individual circumstances. Therefore, we encourage and strongly support you in making the decision that is best for your child (ren). You are always the best judge of your child’s health and safety.
How you can find out if schools are closed
On days when school is closed, the district will inform families via the InTouch notification system. Notification will also be available on local television stations, the district website at www.washburn.k12.wi.us and district Facebook page.
The process for deciding when schools are open or closed due to snow and/or ice
District staff members review the weather conditions beginning early in the morning. They review the weather forecast; talk with other districts, and school district staff to see if all buildings are accessible for students and staff. When the National Weather Service has a WINTER STORM (BLIZZARD) WARNING for Bayfield County in effect for the time just before the school day begins, we will make a decision if our schools should close. It is quite likely we will make this type of closing decision on the morning of the day in question. If there is a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY (and not a WARNING) for the county, schools will likely be open.
We also consult with the bus company to see if buses will be able to travel safely to and from school. We make the decision whether to close schools by 5:30 a.m. or earlier, and then communicate this decision to all local news outlets and initiate the InTouch system.
When schools are closed because of extreme cold
When the National Weather Service has a Wind Chill WARNING for Bayfield County in effect for the time just before the school day begins, we will make a decision if our schools should close. It is quite likely we will make this type of closing decision on the morning of the day in question. If there is a WIND CHILL ADVISORY (and not a WARNING) for the county, schools will likely be open. Additional factors in the decision are:
Wind Chill – minus 40 School will be closed
Temperature – minus 25 - School Will be closed
Combination of – minus 35 wind chill and minus 20 temperature – School will be closed
The process for deciding when schools are open or closed due to excessive heat.
While unlikely, school may also close for extreme heat. When an Excessive Heat Warning has been issued for Bayfield County, district administration will meet to discuss if children can comfortably and safely learn in our buildings. In the event that district administration feels that the excessive heat may pose a safety threat to students, school will be closed for the day.
When schools are closed, all activities are canceled
When the Washburn schools are closed for the day, it also means that all activities scheduled in school buildings for that day are canceled.
2-hour late start
The district may utilize a 2-hour late start option on days when temperature or road conditions may improve.
Why schools are generally not dismissed early on days when the weather is bad
In many of our families, adults work outside the home and they have no childcare arrangements available before the end of the school day. However, if your schedule allows and if you feel your child (ren) will be safer at home, you can pick your child (ren) up before the end of the school day. If you do, go to the school office and request that your child (ren) be dismissed to you.
We try to keep schools open
When schools close, many families have issues with childcare. As a result, we try to keep schools open if it’s safe to do so. However, as we stated at the top of this letter, parents can always make the decision to keep their child (ren) at home in bad weather.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation
We appreciate your understanding of the difficulties in making this decision, and your support in helping your child get to school safely on winter days. Please know that we will use safety considerations in making all of our weather decisions.