Winter School Closure Information for Parents

Written on 10/18/2019
Fox Valley Lutheran HS

When experiencing our more extreme winter weather, Fox Valley Lutheran High School follows a process for deciding if school will be open, closed, or have a 2-hour delay. We serve a very large geographical area, and weather/road conditions can be noticeably different across the region, so some decisions we make may not “fit” the weather/road conditions in your area.


If we do have school, and you determine that it’s best to keep your child home, please do so.  We encourage and strongly support you in making the decision that is best for your child. You are always the best judge of your child’s health and safety. If you do decide to keep your child home on a day when school is in session, please be sure to call the School Office to report the absence. Any absences will be coded as “excused.”


What is the process for deciding when school is open, closed, or on a 2-hour delay due to snow and/or ice?


Beginning at about 4:30 AM, we are in ongoing conversations with the dispatchers for the five bus companies that serve our students (Green Bay, Hortonville, Kaukauna, New London, and Oshkosh/Neenah). They, in turn, are in contact with the superintendents from their districts who are receiving road condition information from the various law enforcement and snow removal personnel across the region.  At the same time, we are talking with our facilities manager to check on accessibility to our campus and our building. And also while keeping an eye on weather reports and decisions surrounding school districts are making. All of this information leads us to make a decision we pray will be the best one with the information we have at that time.


Sometimes, weather conditions change unpredictably “after the fact” leading to a decision being the “wrong one” when using hindsight; we pray these instances are few and far between.


We try our best to make the decision whether to close or have a late start no later than 6 AM.  We use our “Skylert” communication system to send phone, email, and text messages. Local news outlets are informed, and the announcement is posted to our home web page.


When are schools closed because of extreme cold?


Typically, when the National Weather Service issues a wind chill warning (wind chills 35 below or colder) for our area, we will run a 2-hour delay (if temperatures will be rising during the day), or we will cancel school (if those temperatures are predicted to sustain for most or all of the school day).


What are the details concerning a 2-hour delay?


At times, a 2-hour delay will be called.  For example, if the plows need more time to clear the roads after an overnight snow, if our facilities staff needs the time to make our campus and building safe and accessible, or if there is a Wind Chill Warning for the earlier morning hours.  We will try our best to announce the delay by 6 AM. School would begin at 10 AM, and students would still have all of their classes - just with shorter length.


Due to changing weather conditions, sometimes a 2-hour delay turns into a full day cancelation; for this, we do our best to announce by 8 AM.  We know this causes a hardship for families who have already dropped their children off at school, and we apologize for that. When students are dropped off, the building will be open, even if it turns into a full day cancelation.  Students/parents will have to make arrangements for transportation from school. (Sometimes parents make the decision to keep their children home when a 2-hour delay is called, especially if conditions are poor in their region. Again, we support whatever parents decide in this and all situations).


Our five “yellow bus” companies are able to accommodate our 2-hour delay schedules.  Unfortunately, our bus service through Valley Transit does not accommodate that late start.  Students will either need to arrive at their normal times or find alternate transportation.


On 2-hour delays, parents may drop off their children at their normal time; the building will still open at its regular time.


When schools are closed, are all after school/evening activities canceled?


FVL does not have a policy requiring automatic cancelation of after school/evening activities if school had been called off.  If the weather/road conditions improve to the point that safe transportation is possible, after school/evening activities might still take place.  Sometimes though, even if conditions are good later in the day, it might be that the opposing school may have an “automatic cancelation policy.” In any case, activity leaders will communicate with their students as soon as decisions are made.  Here again, if parents decide not to send their children to after-school/evening activities, we will support that.


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


Sometimes the weather worsens during the day.  If the bus companies decide to send their buses early (district and bus company decisions), then we will then likely have an early release.  If we decide to finish the school day, you may pick up your child early if you wish. Also, if your child drives to school, you can request that he/she leave school early, which will result simply as an “excused absence.”  In some situations, it’s safer to keep the students in school, especially if conditions are predicted to improve by the time the school day ends.


What happens if FVL is in danger of falling below the required amount of hours for the school year?


Wisconsin high schools are required to have 1,137 hours of “instructional time” each year. This is also a requirement for our accreditation status and our status as a participant in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.  We usually build in about a four-day “cushion” into our calendar. (You can find the link to this calendar on our home page). On the bottom of that single page calendar, we indicate what scheduled “no school” days could be recouped if we were in danger of not meeting our required hours.  In addition, sometimes we will run a full day of school on days that were originally scheduled to be 10 AM start days (for morning faculty in-service).


Please contact Principal Alan Nolte with any questions.  Thank you.