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Snow days: Schools among buildings still affected by power outages

Posted at 8:54 PM, Apr 04, 2024

Outage numbers are declining as Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) continues to restore power to customers who lost it during this week's winter storm. Two schools in Ashwaubenon remained closed and without power on Thursday.

  • Ashwaubenon School District provided NBC 26 with the following updates:
    • Pioneer Elementary will re-open Friday
    • Parkview Middle will remain closed after a snow plow struck a transformer
    • The district has enough snow days earmarked to give at least one more day off while still delivering state-mandated instruction minutes this school year
    • The district takes into account students who rely on schools for meals, so it waits until the morning of to announce a school closure, rather than the night before, if there's a chance of in-person learning
  • WPS provided NBC 26 with the following updates:
    • More than 1,500 unique issues with utility poles and power lines were reported during this storm, as of 2 p.m. Thursday
    • The company expects power to be restored to over 100,000 customers who lost it during the storm, and 97% of customers to have power back by Friday evening
    • Crews from Iowa, Ohio, and Illinois have joined those from Wisconsin to restore power
  • Video shows a parent, the Ashwaubenon superintendent, and a WPS spokesperson providing perspective on the outages

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Another day without power for some, and no school for others. We're at Pioneer Elementary, one of the ASD schools that's not holding class.

"Definitely we were not expecting to have a long-term situation here, of a couple days without power," Amanda Massart said.

Massart was home with her fifth-grade daughter again on Thursday.

"Having them home during the day is a bit of a challenge," Massart said, "with the noise and trying to keep things organized for them and separate from my workspace."

Ashwaubenon School District kept Pioneer Elementary closed due to an extended outage, and Parkview Middle School closed because of a snow plow hitting a transformer.

Superintendent Kurt Weyers says the district has enough snow days earmarked that students can miss the class time.

We have enough minutes of instruction," Weyers said. "We build in that purposefully, in order to be prepared. There's something about the nostalgia of a snow day, and having that day, and the kids being able to play and enjoy that day, and so we don't want to miss that either."

Weyers says the district waits as long as it can to try to deliver classes in person.

Pioneer Elementary is one of many buildings in Northeast Wisconsin finally getting power back on Thursday, according to Wisconsin Public Service.

"We do expect that we'll be able to restore power to 100,000 customers by the end of the day today," WPS spokesperson Matt Cullen said. "We also expect that 97% of the customers that have been impacted by this outage will have power restored by the end of Friday."

ASD sent out an update Thursday evening saying Pioneer will re-open Friday— but Parkview will continue to be closed.