Weather and Emergency Procedures

Every year, parents are concerned about how the school district will keep their children safe as they are making their way to 
and from school, especially during the winter season. Please download the Emergency Procedures brochure or review the process used for the closing of school as listed below:

Weather Emergencies

In the event of inclement weather conditions, the Superintendent of Schools shall communicate with the bus contractors, Oneida County Highway Department, Oneida County Sheriff's Department and a weather service. The Superintendent shall be contacted and presented with the data gathered from the above sources.  He/she shall make the final decision as to whether or not schools are to close. The line of authority for closing schools should the Superintendent not be available, will continue with the Assistant Superintendent-Pupil Services and/or any other person designated by the Superintendent of Schools.

The announcement of closing or delaying of school will be made via the local and surrounding radio and television media centers.  In addition if school is cancelled, a phone message and email will be sent to all students' and employees' homes. Information will also be posted on the district's main page, www.rhinelander.k12.wi.us

Closing Prior to the School Day Beginning

  • Decisions to close school will be made no later than 5:30 a.m. 
  • Bus operators and/or the Oneida County Sheriff's Department will contact the Superintendent of Schools in the event of inclement weather that leaves roadways hazardous for travel, or in the event of extreme cold temperatures. Together, they make the decision to close schools. 
  • Superintendent of Schools will contact the media, emergency services, the Oneida County Highway Department, the City of Rhinelander, etc. of the decision to close. 
  • The District will contact all parents/guardians and staff members via its phone/email alert system of the school closing and will post the school closing notice on the District website at www.rhinelander.k12.wi.us. 
  • If cancellation follows a delayed start, the decision will be made by 8:00 a.m.
  • Staff shall not report except for custodial staff and 12-month secretarial and administrative staff.
  • After-school activities and team practices will be cancelled unless otherwise indicated by the Activities Director. The Activities Director will be responsible for notifying key individuals (i.e. officials, advisors, coaches, bus companies, Activities Directors of other districts) of cancellation of events.

Delayed Start

  • Decisions to delay the start of the school day will be made no later than 5:30 a.m. 
  • Bus Operators and/or the Oneida County Sheriff's Department will contact the Superintendent of Schools in the event of inclement weather that leaves roadways hazardous for travel, or in the event of extreme cold temperatures. Together, they make the decision to delay the start of the school day. 
  • Superintendent of Schools will contact the media, emergency services, the Oneida County Highway Department, the City of Rhinelander, etc. of the decision to delay. 
  • The District will contact all parents/guardians and staff members via its phone/email alert system of the delayed start and will post the delayed start notice on the District website at www.rhinelander.k12.wi.us. 
  • A late start will automatically be a two-hour delay for both buses and school.
  • Morning Early Childhood and Preschool Speech and Language classes will be cancelled.
  • Staff will report two hours later than their normal start time with the exception of the following staff who will report at their regular scheduled time:

a. Building principals
b. All building office and Administration Center clerical staff
c. Custodial staff
d. Food service employees

(Staff should make common sense judgments if traveling conditions are treacherous.)

Early Dismissal

  • Decisions to dismiss students early from school will be made no later than 11:00 a.m. 
  • Bus contractors and/or the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department will contact the Superintendent of Schools recommending and confirming an early dismissal. 
  • Superintendent of Schools will contact the media, emergency services, the Oneida County Highway Department, the City of Rhinelander, etc. of the decision to close schools early. 
  • The District will contact all parents/guardians and staff members via its phone/email alert system of the early dismissal and will post the early dismissal notice on the District website at www.rhinelander.k12.wi.us. 
  •  Afternoon Early Childhood and Speech and Language classes will be cancelled
  • Staff will be dismissed after the students are dismissed, with the exception of the following staff:

a. Custodial staff
b. Elementary clerical staff (until all students are picked up)
c. Custodial staff
d. Food service employees

  • All after-school activities and team practices will be cancelled. The Activities Director will be responsible for notifying key individuals (i.e. officials, advisors, coaches, bus companies, Activities Directors of other districts) of cancelled events.
  • Decisions regarding participation in interscholastic events will be made by the Activities Director, the Building Principal and the Superintendent.

Exceptions

Should conditions improve, scheduled practices and events may be held on days when school has been cancelled prior to the school day starting, if approved by the activities director.

The following media sources are immediately notified in the event of a cancellation, delayed start, or early dismissal of our 
schools or programs: 
 
* WJFW-TV 12 
* WSAW-TV 7 
* WAOW-TV 9 
 * NRG Media, LLC Northwoods - Radio 
* Midwest Communications - Radio Stations 
* WCYE 93.7 Radio 
* WXPR Radio 
* WJJQ Radio 
* WI Public Radio Stations 
* WACD/WASC/WATK Radio 
* WYCO Radio 
* WRJO Radio 
* WMZK & WJMT Radio 
* Northwoods River News 
* Wausau Daily Herald 
 
Parents are encouraged to check the media or School District of Rhinelander websites if they think the weather is 
such that school may be cancelled or early delays/closings are possible. 

Emergency Procedures

Policy 8215 Emergency Procedures Administrative Guidelines

The primary consideration in any emergency situation must be the safety of the students and staff. At certain times, therefore, it may be necessary to ask the staff to perform beyond the call of duty in order to provide for the welfare of our students. In the event of an actual emergency situation, all school personnel, instructional and noninstructional, will be required to remain in the building until the principal dismisses them.

The release of any information to the media, news and/or the public during a crisis/emergency situation is the responsibility of the Board President, the Superintendent or his/her designee. During a crisis/ emergency situation, at no time is the media, news and/or the public allowed on District property. The media is not allowed to interview or approach any staff member, student, or parent on District property during a crisis/emergency situation. The
Board President and/or Superintendent or his/her designee will make statements to the media, news and/or public as appropriate and necessary in any crisis/emergency situation.

Evacuation - (Bomb threat or other emergency requiring evacuation)

1. When an emergency occurs that requires evacuation of a school building, the building principal, after communicating with city officials and the Superintendent of Schools, will determine if and how the building will be evacuated. An announcement will then be made to inform staff and students of the emergency procedures that will be followed.

2. If a decision is made to send students home or to a pre-selected site, attempts will be made to notify parents by telephone, and/or by radio or TV, and the public address system, ConnectEd, will be used to inform all teachers and students.

3. The 911 Center will be contacted immediately by the building principal or designee.

4. When the building is cleared, available staff, volunteers and other government agencies will conduct a search when requested by principal or designee.

5. Above all, it is imperative that all personnel remain calm and in control throughout the emergency.

6. In the event of an evacuation, students will be required to make up dismissed time.

Fire/Severe Weather Drill

1. In accordance with State law, fire drills are to be conducted periodically, not less than one (1) time each month. When the fire alarm sounds, students must immediately be quiet and listen for instructions. Every drill should be conducted as if there is an actual fire. Every person in the building must leave at the sound of the alarm. Directions posted in each room should be followed carefully so that everyone is assured of a safe exit. Each principal shall prepare and distribute fire drill procedures whereby:

a) All non-designated personnel leave the building during a drill.

b) The plan of evacuation provides at least one (1) alternative route in case exits or stairways are blocked.

c) When the fire alarm sounds, teachers caution students to walk silently and briskly from the building to a specified location, close all classroom windows and doors, and turn out lights, if possible, before leaving, check to make sure any disabled students requiring assistance are being assisted properly, and conduct roll call as soon as students are at the designated location to make sure that each student is accounted for.

d) A list is compiled of all disabled students in the building who will require assistance in exiting the building together with the assignment of a staff member or non-student volunteer in the student's classroom who will be responsible for providing necessary assistance in an appropriate manner. A
person should also be designated to assist a disabled student when the evacuation signal is given and s/he is in another area of the building such as the gym, all-purpose room, or lunchroom.

2. The principal shall document that each fire drill was conducted in a proper manner and submit such documentation to the Superintendent at the end of each school year.

3. Severe weather drills shall be conducted during the first ten (10) school days of school each year and Tornado Awareness Week each spring.

  • School District of Rhinelander
  • 665 Coolidge Ave. Suite B
  • Rhinelander, WI 54501
  • Phone: 715-365-9700
  • School District of Rhinelander
  • 665 Coolidge Ave. Suite B
  • Rhinelander, WI 54501
  • Phone: 715-365-9700