Emergencies and Closings

  • As we experience winter weather, I get many requests for a “snow day” from both students and staff. This reality makes me wonder about the need for breaks - either more frequent smaller breaks or longer ones like a spring break. As you might imagine, the decision for late starts, early releases and closing schools due to weather is an inexact science.  Here is the process I follow:

    • Step 1 - Watch the forecast. If snow, blowing snow or cold are in the forecast, pay close attention late into the night.
    • Step 2 - What is the confidence in the forecast? If extremely confident, perhaps the decision can be made the night before.
    • Step 3 - Wait to determine if the forecast is a reality.
    • Step 4 - Consult with County Road supervisor, bus companies, other area Superintendents.
    • Step 5 - If there is a need to alter the day due to weather, make the decision.
    • Step 6 - Notify - Tweet, utilize school messenger and inform news outlets (this process can take up to an hour)

    Student safety is the highest concern.  However, we do live in Minnesota. If we closed at every forecast or flurries, we would not have school very often during the winter.  When considering altering the day due to cold, I use the following chart to determine whether to do so or not. If the combination of temperature and wind puts us in the window of frostbite if exposed for 10 minutes or less, the school day will be altered (either late start to allow for warming or closed).  If it is within the range where exposure takes 30 minutes or more, we will have no altering of the school day. Why? Because we do not have many, if any students who would be waiting at a bus stop for 30 minutes but we do have many who would be so for 10 minutes. Please see the chart below.

    The decision to alter the school day is one of the most difficult decisions a Superintendent makes. Everyone has an opinion.  I am sure there are some of you who have questioned the decision these past few years. This is why I wanted you to know the thought process. Hopefully, you can now predict future events.

    Wind Chill Chart

    - Tom Lee, Superintendent


    This is also a good time to remind parents to make sure your contact information is updated on your Infinite Campus parent portal, including any cell/work/home phone numbers and email addresses.

    Television Stations To Watch
    A) KEYC-TV (Fox Mankato)
    B) KSTP-TV (ABC Twin Cities)
    C) KARE-TV (NBC Twin Cities)
    D) WCCO-TV (CBS Twin Cities)
    E) FOX-9 (FOX)

    Radio Stations
    A) Z99 (KEEZ)
    B) 103.5 Country (KYSM)
    C) 105.5 The River (KRBI)
    D) 95.7 The Blaze (KQYK)
    E) KRUE & KOWZ
    F) KOWO
    G) 107.5 GM KBGY (Spanish Radio)

    Social Media

    A)    Twitter (Waseca District), (Bluejay Activities), (WIS), (Hartley Elementary)
    B)    Facebook