What goes into the decision to close schools?

SLINGER/SAUKVILLE (WITI) -- Class is cancelled at many schools on Tuesday, January 28th due to the extreme cold -- but on Monday, some districts cancelled class while others were open. So what goes into the decision to close a school?

The largest school district in the Milwaukee area, Milwaukee Public Schools announced on Sunday there would be no school Monday or Tuesday -- but in many other communities, students had to pick up their backpacks Monday morning because school was in session.

Students were in classrooms at Slinger High School Monday -- but the district has already decided classrooms will be empty on Tuesday.

"When we talk about a Wind Chill Advisory, we feel we can stay open because the threat for being outdoors is not as severe, but once it reaches the Wind Chill Warning level, that is where we don't wanna take any chances with children being outside for more than a few minutes," Slinger School District Superintendent Daren Sievers said.

Sievers says it's a decision he makes after meeting with the heads of neighboring school districts.

"We always talk as a county team. We talk to the superintendents from West Bend, Germantown, Kewaskum and Hartford," Sievers said.

The schools that did open Monday took some precautions to keep students out of the cold.

"On days like this, when it's below zero wind chill, our students obviously aren't able to go outside so we have different fun activities in the grade level area that are fun and supervised -- yet where it's active and students can get up and move around a little bit," Saukville Elementary School Principal Chad Brakke said.

The Slinger School District says its calendar is built to handle for snow or cold days.

Tuesday will be number three -- with nearly two more months of winter ahead.

"I've learned a lot through this whole experience. It really has pushed us to think through what our processes are and what that tipping point is between staying open and closing," Sievers said.

The Mequon-Thiensville School District says it has the same system as Slinger -- schools will be open during a Wind Chill Advisory, but will close if there's a warning.

A spokesman for Milwaukee Public Schools says it is still deciding how it will make up for Monday and Tuesday.