MILWAUKEE – The annual State Education Convention put on by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards is currently ongoing at the Baird Center in Milwaukee, bringing experts on issues that have come to the forefront for Milwaukee schools in 2024.
National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Halbach gave a presentation Wednesday morning at the convention on his work with schools ahead of and during severe weather. Halbach told WTMJ the goal is to make sure that districts have the latest data.
“We don’t tell schools to cancel or postpone,” Halbach said. “It’s on them, because there’s a lot of things that go into those decisions that are not weather-based. So we just provide the information and let them make decisions from there.”
Halbach said that each district has a different process to determine whether to close, and that there’s different factors to consider during snow storms versus wind chills, which have both forced Milwaukee Public Schools to shut its doors in the last week.
School safety was also discussed at the convention. Mary Tyszkiewicz is the founder of Heroic Improv, an organization that focuses on preparing students for what she calls “no-notice events” like violence or natural disasters.
“We need to have students involved in school safety and not have it all be adult-led,” Tyszkiewicz said.
Tyszkiewicz gave a presentation on that topic on Wednesday afternoon, telling WTMJ she uses theater improv techniques to prepare people for how to respond as a small group during an emergency to save lives and get to safety.
“You can feel confident that if you were in a no-notice event that you can start an action and help.”
Milwaukee has been discussing school safety recently with the impending return of police to Milwaukee Public Schools. Tyszkiewicz said she believes coordination with law enforcement is a major part of school safety, but doesn’t make it her focus.
The convention is being held at the Baird Center in downtown Milwaukee until Friday, January 19.