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Schools may be affected by next week's cold weather

Monday, Tuesday may see record lows, wind chills

MADISON, Wis. - The Madison area is bracing itself for dangerously cold temperatures, and just as kids return from winter break, they might be getting more days off early next week due to the bitter cold.

Monday and Tuesday might see record lows -- lows the area hasn't seen since a similar two-day stretch in Feb. 1996.

Public health officials are reminding people to be aware of the conditions and for schools, this is going to force them to make some decisions.

Don Johnson, superintendent of the Middleton-Cross Plains School District, said they always hope to make a decision by 6 a.m. Temperatures of 25 below zero and wind chill factors of 35 below zero generally cancel or delay school.

Johnson said ultimately, parents have the final say on whether their student goes to school.

"They still have the authority and the ability to excuse their student and have them stay home," Johnson said. "If they live in a more remote area and don't want their child standing out waiting for the bus, that's really a parent call and we encourage them to make that decision."

Johnson said most districts in the county follow the same guidelines when it comes to cold weather. Many of the district websites have information on standards for calling school due to cold weather.

"You'll find some differences in districts, but generally our standards are the same in that 25 below actual temperature or 35 below wind chill are really our breaking points where school will be closed," Johnson said.

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