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We hope our students have opportunities to enjoy winter weather over the next few months, but 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.

Here is what you should know about winter weather decisions:

kids playing in the snowWe 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 do we decide whether or not to close due to snow, ice and/or extreme cold?

The district monitors weather conditions and consults with meteorologists, the City of Madison, Madison Police and transportation providers. We will consider closing schools at negative 25 degrees.

We use this information to consider closing schools in cases of extreme cold, snow or other hazardous conditions. To help our families plan for any school closures, we make every effort to make a decision on closing by 9pm the evening prior.

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, and check our district social media channels (links also at top of this page) or our website at

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 winter 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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