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School Closure

Because severe weather is always a possibility during the winter months in Wisconsin, we have created this informational page to let students, families, and staff know how and where, information on school closures or delays will be announced.

We encourage and strongly support you in making the best decision for your student(s). You are always the best judge of your student’s health and safety. If you do decide to keep your student(s) home on a day when school is in session, please be sure to contact your their school to report the absence.

What is the process for deciding when schools are open or closed due to snow and/or ice?

When severe weather conditions arise, the Appleton Area School District follows a well-defined process to determine school closures. Our primary goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.

Early in the morning, our district staff carefully assesses the weather conditions. We thoroughly check the accessibility of all school buildings for both students and staff. 

We also consult with Lamers Bus Lines and Valley Transit to see if buses will be able to travel safely to and from school. We may also consult with the Appleton Department of Public Works and Outagamie County Highway Department as needed.

Every effort will be made to decide whether to close schools by 6:00 a.m. or earlier, and then communicated to all families, local news outlets, and posted on the district’s website and social media.

How can I find out if schools are closed?

In case of school start delays or closures, families will be notified via Infinite Campus alerts with robocalls, emails, and text messages, or a combination in an effort to reach all families. Please ensure that your Infinite Campus contact preferences are up to date. 

We will stagger notifications to ensure timeliness while minimizing early-morning disruptions.

  • Website and social media posting will be completed as soon as possible
  • Email notification as early as possible, starting no earlier than 5:00 a.m.
  • Text notification as early as possible, starting no earlier than 5:30 a.m.
  • Phone calls at 5:45 a.m., to allow enough time for 10,000+ calls to be completed by shortly after 6:00 a.m.

A note about robocalls: We serve more than 15,000 students and our call-out system cannot call all olf our families at the same time. The notification may take a few minutes after the notification is sent to reach your family. For that reason, we also post to this website and to our social media accounts as soon as we know the District will delay or close for the day.

On days when the weather is questionable, families can always check the District website or their school's website for a red alert banner that will be added to the top of all AASD homepages. The District’s social media will also be updated. Families can also listen to any local radio station or watch many local television stations for information about school closings.

When are schools closed because of extreme cold?

When the National Weather Service has a wind chill WARNING (wind chills 35 below or colder for more than one hour) for the Appleton area in effect for the time just before the school day begins, we will make a decision if our schools should close. We will likely make this type of closing decision on the morning of the day in question.

What are the guidelines for winter recess?

We use the National Weather Service Wind Chill Chart to ensure that all schools have the same guidelines as to when it’s safe and not safe for students to go outside. All schools have the leeway to make a site decision based on local knowledge and what they deem appropriate for a given situation.

The dark blue area is the danger zone and students should not be sent outside when temperatures fall into this range. The light blue area is the safe zone when students can be sent outside.

What is the process for a two-hour delay?

On days when the decision is made to implement a two-hour delay, the following procedures will take place:

  • All morning 4K, Early Childhood, and Title I Preschool classes would be canceled
  • Elementary School Start Time: 10:27 a.m.
  • Middle School Start Time: 9:50 a.m.
  • High School Start Times: 9:55 a.m.

Note: Some charter schools or programs start at a different time than what is listed above.

When schools are closed, are all activities for the day canceled?

When Appleton schools are closed for the day, it also means that all activities scheduled in school buildings for that day are canceled. This includes all AASD programs and all after-school programs.

Should weather conditions improve dramatically during the course of the day, high school co-curricular activities may be held. An announcement through local media and our website will communicate that information.

Why are schools generally not dismissed early on days when the weather is bad?

In many of our families, adults work outside the home and they have no childcare arrangements available before the end of the school day. However, if your schedule allows and if you feel your child(ren) will be safer at home, you can pick your child(ren) up before the end of the school day. If you choose to do so, go to the school office and request that your child(ren) be dismissed to you.

When schools are closed for other reasons:

If you have a question about whether schools or a particular school will be closed for reasons other than severe weather, go to the district’s website or social media for an announcement.

For every family which is happy that school is in session on days when the weather is bad, there is another family that feels schools should be closed. The decision to open or close schools during inclement weather brings out some of the strongest community reactions – no matter which way we go with our weather decisions.

We appreciate your understanding of the difficulties in making this decision, and your support in helping your child get to school safely on winter days. Please know that we will use safety considerations in making all of our weather decisions.