Emergency Closings (Inclement Weather)
School administration takes decisions to close school due to inclement weather conditions very seriously. As with most decisions that affect literally thousands of people, it will impact individuals differently. You may be interested in knowing what goes into the decision.
The most important consideration in the decision is children’s safety. Can we safely transport children to and from school? Many people and factors are involved. We monitor the weather conditions with information from national and local weather services. If they issue a Winter Storm Warning (different than a winter weather advisory) during the hours that school is operated, then we will close school.
We will not typically close schools during winter weather advisories, unless we hear from local agencies that the roads are not safe. County and municipal road crews are contacted to assess road conditions and the extent to which they will be safe to travel at the time students are to be transported. If plows are able to have snow removed from the majority of bus routes, and there is no concern for high winds or a rate of snowfall that would prohibit keeping the roads clear, buses can operate safely. Few vehicles are safer than buses with professional drivers in winter driving conditions. If it is determined we cannot safely transport children to school, or cannot safely transport children home from school, then schools will be closed.
While district staff have the responsibility to close school due to weather, no decision of ours overrides the judgment as a parent. By no means are the decisions meant to take decision-making authority away from families if they feel individual circumstances may be different for them. As in any circumstance, if you believe travel is unsafe for you and/or your student(s), we defer to you to make the best decision necessary based on the circumstances presented.
In the end, please rest assured that the ability to safely move our 3,100 students to and from school is the primary determinant for closing school. That safety is determined with input from many professionals who are committed to the safety of children - a responsibility that is not taken lightly.
In case of inclement weather, the Elkhorn Area School District will announce school closings as soon as possible. We will notify parents by a School Messenger phone call and email. These announcements will also be made on local TV and radio stations (listed below). School closings will also be available on this website, and through Facebook.
Our practice is to close Elkhorn Area Schools if the National Weather Service issues a Wind Chill Warning (issued when sustained -35 degree windchills are expected) for Walworth County for the time just before the school day begins. Schools typically will not be closed if there is a wind chill advisory for the county.
When Elkhorn Area Schools are closed for the day, it also means that all activities scheduled in school buildings for that day are cancelled. This includes all EASD programs and all after school programs.