Temperatures plunged to 19 degrees on Friday, December 7th, and remained in the high 20’s the rest of the week. As it gets colder outside, Arrowhead High School administration reminded students and families about the policies regarding cold and snowy days at school.
Students who travel between campuses during the school day are still expected to walk unless the temperature is too cold. At that point, buses will be provided for students.
Tracy MacDonald, the North Campus Administrative Secretary says, “We don’t have a specific temperature when we provide shuttles. It’s just when we think it is too cold for students to safely walk from campus to campus. This temperature is not fixed, as it might be higher or lower depending on the year…When we do have shuttles, we will interrupt class on the announcements between second and third hour to alert the students. If we know early enough, we will try to put a message on the [televisions] throughout the school.”
Saniya Saluja is a sophomore at Arrowhead who has to walk from South Campus to North in between seventh and eighth hours. “It’s really cold, and when it’s windy, it gets colder,” says Saluja. “And when it snows you feel like your fingers are [going to] fall off…and you have to put your coat and gloves on before walking which takes forever, then you’re almost late to your class, especially if your locker is far away. The sidewalk is also very slippery after it snows, which is a hazard.”
As for snow days, Wisconsin requires a minimum of 180 teaching days by law for schools. For this reason, schools like Arrowhead build extra days into their yearly schedule to prepare for possible snow days.
Laura Myrah, Arrowhead’s superintendent, said in the December Parent Newsletter (Arrowhead Advisor), “The cancellation of school as a result of a snow storm involves gathering information from various national and local weather services, neighboring school districts, and local resources (Dousman Transportation, Dept. of Transportation, law enforcement, etc.). Available data regarding the condition of local streets, school district facilities and grounds, busing services, and projected timing of the snowfall are all considered when canceling school for a snow day…[as well as] the issuance of a wind chill warning(a sustained wind chill of around -35 to -45 degrees or colder)…Finally, a 4 a.m. conference call is held with Waukesha County superintendents, as well as representatives from all of Southeastern Wisconsin to compare information and decisions.”
The Arrowhead Student and Parent Information Handbook states in the event of a snow day, “the notice will be given over a variety of television and radio stations as well as through the special message on the voice mail system or the web page.”
Myrah wrote in the Arrowhead advisor, “If the decision can be made the evening before, we will. Otherwise, the social media postings and automated phone call typically will occur between 4:30-5:30 a.m.”
The school will use means of Twitter, a phone call through Skylert phone service, FaceBook, the district website and a variety of television stations.
Myrah wrote when a school does initiate a school cancellation due to dangerous winter conditions, “all school-related activities (athletics, co-curricular clubs, performances, etc.) for that day and evening are also canceled, unless you hear different information directly from an Arrowhead staff member or coach.