Gov. considering closing all state schools Monday; local administrators ready to decide Sunday

coldman-sxc-Dave-Dyet-webGov. Scott Walker may order all state schools closed Monday, jsonline reported today.

However, local school administrators said they already have guidelines in place for extreme cold weather and are prepared to consider what action to take later this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning from 6 p.m. Sunday through noon Tuesday. That warning calls for wind chills as low as -50 for Monday and Tuesday morning.

Bristol School district administrator Gale Ryczek said — like snow days — he expects the Western Kenosha County school district administrators to confer on whether to close school, likely on Sunday afternoon. He said the approximate guidelines for a cold day closure are -20 for temperature and -35 for wind chill.

“Our practice is to close if temps are close to these,” said Paris School district administrator Roger Gahart. “Just too dangerous to risk the safety of kids and staff!”

Some schools that were in session today, such as Randall School, sent students home with statements about the impending cold weather.

“We are carefully watching developments weatherwise,” Randall district administrator Steve Bloom said.

Ryczek said he thinks it is wise to not make weather-related decisions too far ahead due to how conditions can change from an advance forecast.

None of the administrators who responded to our inquiries on the topic could remember the state stepping in to make a unilateral decision on something that has always been under local control.

“In my 23 years, I do not recall the state ever stepping in on closing schools,” Gahart said.

Said David Milz, Salem School district administrator: “This is my 30th year in education, and I cannot ever recall the state stepping in with a weather-related decision.”

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has closed all of his state’s schools for Monday. The Milwaukee School District announced Friday afternoon that school there would be closed Monday, multiple media outlets reported.

UPDATE 5:12 p.m. — Kenosha Unified Schools will be closed Monday.


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