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When is it too cold or snowy for school?

When Is It Too Cold or Snowy For School in Winterset?

(January 2020)

In Winterset, we try to quantify just how cold is too cold for school. Generally, if the National Weather Service Forecast for the morning is for a windchill warning, classes will be cancelled.  In most cases the decision will be made the night before.  However, we can't always predict what will happen in the morning with our buses. Sometimes in temperatures warmer than a windchill warning our buses struggle to start and stay running.  In those cases, a decision to cancel or start late is made as soon as possible in the morning.  

Families should expect less notice when school is cancelled for heavy snow or ice. Many factors are taken into account:  

  • Road conditions are tested.  
  • Several websites are viewed for information on weather and road conditions.  
  • Meade consults with other Madison County and neighboring school districts.

Making the decision to start late, cancel, or continue school as planned is a difficult decision that takes into account many factors. Most importantly, we consider our student and staff safety first. Parents certainly can make their own decision if they feel it is too dangerous for their children to go to school.  Our district is large geographically and very rural.  Conditions can vary across our school district.  

Winterset generally doesn’t call hard surfaced roads only due to many factors:

  • Our district is larger geographically and has fewer hard surfaces than most other districts
  • Many rural residences are very far from any hard-surfaced road
  • Students may have to walk home from the drop-off in unsafe conditions (icy roads, snow)
  • Parents may not be able to make alternative plans to meet the bus
  • It’s better to keep other vehicles off the routes
  • Cell service is poor in some areas of our district

When WCSD makes a decision to change plans we utilize our Infinite Campus Messenger System that calls, texts and e-mails parents and staff.  We also post the change of plans on our district website, Twitter and notify local media.  Please refrain from calling the bus barn during weather challenges as it ties up the lines and keeps our employees from focusing on supporting our drivers and keeping kids safe.