Severe Weather and School Closings

A primary goal of West Allis-West Milwaukee School District personnel is to protect the safety and well being of students and staff. If severe weather conditions develop, a decision to close will be made only after carefully considering a number of factors. The timing of the decision is influenced by the severity, intensity, and movement of the storm center. If the District is considering closing school due to bitter cold and wind chill, it will do so if the National Weather Service changes a wind chill advisory to a wind chill warning. A decision to close will be made as early as possible, preferably by 6:00 a.m., so that students, parents, and staff members can be informed promptly. Communication is then distributed as follows:

  1. The district website, social media, and cable channel 13 is updated with an emergency message as soon as the decision is made. 

  2. All major media outlets (TV and Radio) are notified.

  3. Each household will receive a phone call and email message via SchoolMessenger. 

Dismissing Classes Early

Every effort will be made to follow the regular end-of-the-day dismissal schedule since changing it can cause confusion and inconvenience for parents and students. On those rare occasions when maintaining the regular schedule might result in large groups of students being unable to return home safely, school will be dismissed early. In such instances, the district website, social media, and cable channel 13 will be updated with an emergency message, each household will receive a phone call and email message, and radio and television stations will be asked to provide advance warning of the closing time.

Bus Transportation and Early Dismissal

Bus transportation, not grade level, is the main factor that determines dismissal times. Bus scheduling is a complicated matter, and route changes during an early dismissal have the potential for causing confusion and the later arrival home of students.

Bus schedules are rarely changed during an early dismissal. Upon the end of a school day, many middle school and high school students are responsible for caring for their elementary-age brothers and sisters. The School District wants to avoid transporting elementary school students home prior to the arrival of their older brothers and sisters.

Factors that determine school closings and early dismissals:

  • Current weather/safety condition

  • Weather forecast

  • Highway and road conditions

  • Ability of bus contractors and/or parents to transport students

  • Ability of staff members to travel to and from their work assignments

  • Operating plans of other area school districts