Safety and Security
The Oshkosh Area School District and its Board of Education, along with the Oshkosh Police Department and Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, are committed to the continued safety and wellness of all students, staff, and entire school communities.
- Standard Response Protocol
- School Closure Information / Snow Days
- Emergency Communication
- Emergency Preparedness Collaborative Operations Team (EPCOT)
The Oshkosh Area School District utilizes the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) developed by the I Love U Guys Foundation in collaboration with law enforcement.
The Standard Response Protocol is based not on individual scenarios but on the response to any given scenario. Like the Incident Command System (ICS), SRP demands a specific vocabulary but also allows for great flexibility.
The premise is simple: there are five specific actions that can be performed during an incident. When communicating these actions, each is followed by a “Directive.” Execution of the action is performed by active participants, including students, staff, teachers and first responders.
(Click the image below to view as a PDF.)
The Oshkosh Area School District follows a process to determine if schools will be open or closed when weather conditions are poor, unlikely to improve, or may get worse throughout the day. The district must make snow day decisions that are the best for all students and the intent is to keep school in session as often as possible.
We encourage and strongly support you as you make the decision that is best for your child(ren) and family. You are always the best judge of your child’s health and safety. If you do decide to keep your child(ren) home on a day when school is in session, please be sure to contact your child’s school to report the absence.
2022-23 Inclement Weather Day Plan (updated)
During the 2022-23 school year, the OASD will use a combination of inclement weather days and digital learning days in response to winter weather. The OASD’s 2022-23 academic calendar has one inclement weather/emergency day built in. At this time and per an update provided on January 18, 2023, the following approach will be followed district-wide.
- High School: There is NO change to how high schools will handle digital learning days due to inclement weather.
- What: As updated on December 20, any additional inclement weather days this school year will automatically be digital learning days for high school students.
- Why: High schools do not have enough minutes to absorb a full day without needing to add time - either minutes to the school day or days in the school year.
- Middle School: There is NO change to how middle schools will handle digital learning days due to inclement weather.
- What: As previously shared, any additional inclement weather days this school year will automatically be digital learning days for middle school students.
- Why: This is the same process for high schools, with the understanding that both middle and high school students are expected to take Chromebooks home every day and are capable of logging on and getting their coursework online with little or no assistance needed at home.
- Elementary School: There IS a change to how elementary schools will handle digital learning days due to inclement weather.
- What: Updated process for elementary schools:
- If inclement weather can be predicted and an inclement weather day is called before 1 p.m., elementary students will have a digital learning day and Chromebooks will be sent home with students.
- If inclement weather is not predicted and an inclement weather day is decided after 1 p.m. (including late evening or early morning) elementary students will have a “traditional snow day”.
- Why: Elementary students do not take their Chromebooks home every day. Enough time is needed for elementary staff to send Chromebooks, instructions, and other material home with elementary students.
- Reminder: We understand that elementary students will need support from home in order to log on and engage in their coursework if a digital learning day is decided for elementary students. Additionally, it is important for families to understand that digital learning will be pre-recorded and self-paced.
- What: Updated process for elementary schools:
4K and Early Childhood (PK): There is NO change for 4K and Early Childhood. As previously shared, 4K and Early Childhood will have “traditional snow days” when school is canceled for inclement weather.
REMINDER: If school is closed due to weather (resulting in a digital learning day for some or all schools or a traditional snow day for elementary schools) all school district-sponsored activities, athletics, before and after-school programs, and Oshkosh Recreation Department activities are also canceled. Should weather conditions improve dramatically during the day, high school co-curricular activities may be held; an official announcement from the OASD would be made.
When an inclement weather decision is made, the expectations for each level (high, middle, elementary, and early learning) will be clearly communicated. In making this decision, the District aims to find a balance between appropriately responding to Wisconsin’s winter weather, and taking advantage of our ability to provide virtual instruction.
How does the Oshkosh Area School District decide when schools are open or closed due to weather?
District staff members review the weather conditions beginning early in the morning. Road conditions are discussed with the bus company and law enforcement to ensure that the buses will be able to travel safely to and from school. School district staff also check building conditions to ensure that they are accessible for both students and staff. Every effort will be made to make the decision whether to close schools by 6 a.m. or earlier if possible.
How can I find out if schools are closed?
As soon as a decision is made, the specifics will be communicated directly to parents using our Campus Messenger system. The fastest and most accurate way to learn of school closings is to ensure your emergency contact information is current in Infinite Campus. The district also provides closing information to all local news outlets in addition to posting on the district’s website and social media.
When are schools closed because of extreme cold?
When the National Weather Service has a wind chill WARNING (wind chills 35 below or colder for more than one hour) for the Oshkosh area in effect for the time just before the school day begins, we will make a decision if our schools should close or have a delayed start. It is likely we will make this type of closing decision on the morning of the day in question.
What is the process for a 2-hour delay?
In the event that weather conditions are poor but predicted to improve, a 2-hour delay may be used. On days when this decision is made, the following procedures will take place:
- All morning 4K and Early Childhood Special Education classes would be canceled
- There will be no morning breakfast services provided
- Elementary School Start Time: 9:45 AM
- Middle School Start Time: 10:19 AM
- High School Start Times: 10:23 AM
When schools are closed, are all activities for the day canceled?
When Oshkosh schools are closed for the day, it also means that all activities scheduled in school buildings for that day are canceled. This includes all OASD programs and all after-school programs.
Should weather conditions improve dramatically during the course of the day, high school co-curricular activities may be held. An announcement through local media and our website will communicate that information.
Why are schools generally not dismissed early on days when the weather is bad?
For most of our families, the adults work outside the home and they have no childcare arrangements available before the end of the school day. However, if your schedule allows and if you feel your child(ren) will be safer at home, you can pick your child(ren) up before the end of the school day. If you choose to do so, go to the school office and request that your child(ren) be dismissed to you.
When schools are closed for other reasons:
If schools are closed for reasons other than weather (i.e. water main break) the district will communicate the specifics directly to parents using our Campus Messenger system. The district also provides closing information to all local news outlets in addition to posting on the district’s website and social media.
We appreciate your understanding of the difficulties in making these types of decisions and your support in helping your child get to school safely on winter days. Please know that student safety is our top priority as we make all of our school closing decisions.
The first priority of school staff is to ensure the safety of those on campus during an emergency situation. Additionally, it is critically important that parents and students have accurate information, not rumors. District staff will work with school staff to notify families of the situation as quickly as possible. In an emergency situation, you can expect to receive communications in multiple ways including:
Infinite Campus (Parent Portal): A message system for parents/guardians. When necessary, the District will send out messages via email, phone and text message to inform families of unexpected events and to communicate in the midst of an emergency (school closing due to extreme weather, lockdown situation, etc.) To ensure that you receive emergency communications please check your Contact Preferences within Infinite Campus.
PARENTS: Please update your phone numbers and email addresses with your school when they change so that the district has your most up-to-date information in order to notify you of an emergency. Detailed instructions are also available (see below) for you to review and update your contact information within Infinite Campus as/if needed.
- Website: Oshkosh Area School District website (updates are posted on the home page);
- Social Media: The District has a presence on Facebook and Twitter (@OshkoshSchools) and will post emergency information and updates on these pages. You must like the District’s Facebook page and follow the District on Twitter in order to receive these posts.
- Local Media: The District will provide timely updates to local television stations, radio stations, and newspapers for their broadcasts, publications, websites and social media sites.
The Oshkosh Area School District leverages a well-developed partnership with local government and law enforcement. The Emergency Preparedness Collaborative Operations Team (EPCOT) meets regularly to ensure that the district is prepared in the event of an emergency situation. One initiative that the EPCOT team has worked on is providing professional development, training, and practice of the ALICE process to help ensure student and staff safety. For more information on ALICE please see the YouTube video below.
All OASD exterior doors are closed and locked during the school day. When arriving at a school, visitors must first ring a doorbell. School staff will speak to and view the visitor to determine their reason for entering before letting them in to the school’s secure entrance. Upon entry, visitors must report to the school office to sign in via the OASD Visitor Management System.
So that our staff can monitor each individual, we ask that visitors not hold the door for others.
In our continual effort to increase safety and security at our schools, the Oshkosh Area School District has updated its safety protocols. Effective September 1, 2023 all OASD schools will use a Chromebook kiosk station for our OASD Visitor Management System during school hours. This new system replaces the Raptor system. It was developed based on school safety best practices, and with feedback from families, staff, and community members as we strive to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment while maintaining our high security standards.
Student and staff safety is our top priority, and knowing who is in our buildings, as well as having an orderly check-in/out process, is a key component of providing a safe learning and working environment throughout our school district. Every school building in the OASD now has an enhanced door security process.
- When entering a school or building, visitors will be asked to sign in with their first and last name, reason for visit, and destination in the building.
- A visitor’s badge will be filled out with their name and date.
- The visitor must place the badge on their clothing in an area that is easy to see, preferably upper chest/shoulder area.
- When leaving a school or building, visitors will be asked to leave through the same door, check out with their first and last name, and return/throw away their visitor badge.
(NOTE: A visitor’s badge is necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork. However, volunteers and all contractors or subcontractors must follow the new visitor management process at all times.)
As a reminder, all OASD exterior doors are closed and locked during the school day. When arriving at a school, visitors must first ring a doorbell. School staff will speak to and view the visitor to determine their reason for entering before letting them in to the school’s secure entrance. Upon entry, visitors must report to the school office to sign in via the new OASD Visitor Management System. So that our staff can monitor each individual, we ask that visitors not hold the door for others.
- What is a Visitor Management System?
- Why are we implementing a Visitor Management System?
- Why did the District select this updated system?
- What is the updated visitor management process?
- Why is the OASD using this system?
- Will OASD employees follow the procedure?
- Will volunteers have to follow the procedure?
- Will contractors, subcontractors and vendors follow the procedure?
- Can the OASD require parents/guardians or visitors to produce an ID before entering the building?
- What about grandparents/power of attorney (POA)?
- What about police officers, firefighters, and other uniformed or governmental officials?
- Does the district have to give listed sexual offenders and predators access to the school?
- Will the district use the process for after-school activities?
The Oshkosh Area School District has expanded its safety protocols as part of our continual effort to increase safety and security at our schools. Part of keeping students and staff safe is knowing precisely who is in our buildings at all times, and this updated system and formal process will allow us to do that. The OASD system will help us track visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools more closely and provide us with a safer environment for our students and staff.
The updated Visitor Management System was designed by a team made up of OASD secretaries, administrators and members of the district’s emergency response team (EPCOT). It was developed based on school safety best practices, and with feedback from families, staff, and community members as we strive to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment while maintaining our high security standards.
During school hours, entry to the school building will be restricted to a single entrance area near the office. Office personnel will ask a visitor to sign in with first and last name, reason for visit, and destination in the building. A visitor badge will be issued. Visitors will check out from the same door and will turn in or throw away their visitor badge at the completion of the visit.
The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and the school district has been proactive in implementing a layered approach to school safety. The new process will provide a consistent system to track visitors while ensuring those that should not have access to our schools are not allowed entry.