Gearing up for back to school after two days off due to cold weather

MEQUON/THIENSVILLE/MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) -- School is back in session Wednesday, January 8th for the majority of students in the Milwaukee area. This, after school was cancelled for many on Monday and Tuesday due to the extreme cold. A Wind Chill Warning was in effect Monday through Tuesday afternoon -- and we saw temperatures of -12 and -13, with wind chills around -35 to -40. Now, things are improving slightly, and preparations are being made to get kids back to school.

At Alltran Services Corporation in Mequon, it takes a lot to get school buses up and running -- especially in this freezing cold weather we've seen this week -- but staff members have been hard at work all week making sure the buses are ready at a moment's notice.

"These kids standing on a corner -- a bus needs to be timely and needs to be there," Michael Gross with Alltran Services said.

Gross says workers have been putting in long hours making sure the fleet of buses is ready to go.

Meanwhile, school officials are working to see how these two days off will impact the school schedule for the remainder of the year.

"We have a rule in the Mequon-Thiensville School District -- when it`s a wind chill warning, we will close," Mequon-Thiensville Superintendent Demond Means said.

Means says he didn't want to risk the students' safety in this arctic weather -- but adds closing the schools for two days cuts into planned snow days.

"We immediately run the analysis of the days that we have to log as per the Department of Public Instruction and the number of hours. There are two thresholds we have to meet -- the number of days and number of hours," Means said.

Means says the district met the 180 days required by the state. However, the high school will have to make up just a few hours to off-set the days of instruction missed over the past two days.

"We are going to modify some of the scheduling we have in place. We have things like early release days and flex time," Means said.

The Menomonee Falls School District used up its allotted days as well.

"We had the two already built in," Menomonee Falls School District Superintendent Dr. Patricia Greco said.

For these two districts, the challenge comes as winter continues. If more adverse weather happens, Dr. Greco says school officials have talked about possibly asking the Department of Public Instruction for a waiver.

"With historically low temperatures, with the cold days, it happened infrequently so that`s the conversation superintendents are having -- is would the state consider waiving for those days so it doesn`t negatively impact graduation, the start time for summer school doesn`t push summer school into August. Those are all the factors when you`re locked into starting after September 1st," Dr. Greco said.

As of now, both districts are slated to end the school year on the scheduled day of June 12th -- but the same can't be said for Milwaukee Public Schools.

MPS released a statement to FOX6 News, saying: "We will be making up the two days MPS was closed due to cold weather. We're examining our options and will communicate the information to parents once a decision is made."