silhouettes of three children frolicking as the sun sets

How do we decide whether to close due to extreme heat?

The National Weather Service guidelines inform our decision. Generally, during the regular school year, schools will remain open when a Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Watch is issued.  Schools will close when an Excessive Heat Warning is issued.

You can find criteria for these designations at

Here is what you should know about weather decisions:

When weather is severe, we want you to know how we will make decisions about closing school. The safety of our students is our top priority, and we always follow a set of guidelines to make decisions about whether school will be open or closed.

The district must make a decision that is the best for all students. We realize, at times, our decisions may not fit with your individual circumstances. Therefore, we encourage and strongly support you in making the decision that is best for your child(ren). You are always the best judge of their health and safety.

We try to keep schools open

When schools close, many families have issues with child care and we lose valuable learning time. As a result, we try to keep schools open if it’s safe to do so. However, parents can always make the decision to keep their child(ren) at home in bad weather.

How can you find out if schools are closed?

On days when the weather is bad, listen to any local radio or television station for information about school closing. If you provided your email address and/or mobile phone number during enrollment, you will be contacted in the morning regarding a school closing via email, phone and text message. You may also check our website. Please note: If you’d like to receive text messages, you’ll also need to provide a cell phone number during enrollment or to your school to be added in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.

When schools are closed, are other activities canceled as well?

When Madison schools are closed for the day, it also means that all activities scheduled in school buildings for that day are canceled, including all MSCR programs, after school programs and athletics.

Why aren’t schools dismissed early on days when the weather is bad?

Generally, once the school day has started, MMSD schools will not dismiss early to avoid complications with transportation and child care arrangements. However, if your schedule allows and if you feel your child will be safer at home, you can pick your child up before the end of the school day.

We appreciate your understanding of the difficulties in making this decision, and your support in helping your child get to school safely on bad weather days. Please know that the safety of all of our students is our first priority when making all weather-related decisions.

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