Welcome to Besser Elementary

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Besser Elementary 375 Wilson St Alpena, MI 49707 Phone: 989.358.5100 Fax: 989-358-5105

Besser Elementary School is located in the City of Alpena in northeastern Michigan. We are one of six elementary schools currently operated by the Alpena Public School District. Besser serves a population of approximately 455 K-5 students from the City and Township of Alpena

Wind Chill Chart National Weather Service

APS Snow Day Closure Decision Making Process

 The decision to close school includes several important factors. On evenings when road conditions are the concern, the Superintendent of Alpena Public Schools and Transportation Supervisor  get in their cars at 3A.M. to drive on several of the most challenging roads around the county to check the conditions. Our goal is to make the difficult prediction of what conditions, across the 604 square miles of the district, will be like at the time students are picked up and dropped off for the coming school day. Weather radar reports from the National Weather Service are reviewed, and there is consultation with the Alpena County Road Commission. There are also calls with Superintendents from the surrounding counties. Then an informed decision is made utilizing all the information from these sources. On the rare occasion when conditions change drastically it may require a late closure call or an early dismissal. 

When temperature is the question, similar consultation occurs. There is no district policy listing an automatic temperature that results in closure. The general temperature expectation for closure is a sustained -25 degree wind chill. We provide Facebook, School Messenger, APS app, website and radio updates on bus delays as an attempt to avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures for our students. Frostbite is always a concern, and the risk is calculated using wind speed/air temperature and time of exposure.(graphic attached) Each of these factors can vary greatly across our large district coverage area.

We would like to remind our families that YOU are the best judge of the conditions at your individual location. As a parent, it is your right to decide if it is safe for your child to attend based on your individual situation. Please call the school to excuse your child if you decide it isn't safe for them to attend. Families that keep their child home should be sure to find out about work that was missed and make it up like they would for any absence.



December 2023 APS #WeAreWildcats Alumni Spotlight

The Dr. Kay Clapp Children’s Literacy Award was endowed in 2006 to honor Dr. Clapp, a professor emeritus in the Department of Education at Truman. Dr. Clapp is a powerful proponent of literacy and children’s literature. Thousands of students and practicing teachers have been influenced by her dedication and mentoring.

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APS is Seeking Community Input on use of Mental Health and School Safety Grant Funds

 Alpena Public Schools is applying for a 31aa Mental Health and School Safety Grant. Districts are able to use these funds on student/staff mental health, school safety or a combination of the two. The purpose of this survey is to gather community input on which area(s) the District should focus the grant spending on. This is one-time funding and the estimated grant allocation is $424,000. Click HERE to provide input on how to use the 31aa grant funds. To guide your decision, we would first like to provide information on the District's current and upcoming expenditures on student/staff mental health and school safety.

Student Mental Health - Existing Resources- School psychologists, School social workers, School-based Behavioral Health Therapists, 5 Elementary/NEMSCA School Success Behavioral Technicians, 2 TBJHS Counselors, 1 TBJHS/NEMSCA School Success Behavioral Technician, 4 AHS Counselors, 1 AHS/NEMSCA School Success Behavioral Technician

Staff Mental Health - Existing Resources- Alpena Public Schools Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Mental Health Programs & Tools for APS employees receiving insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield Benefits)

School Safety – Future Items- One-Button Lockdown & Strobe School Security System (stations for all 9 schools)




APS Celebrates Special Education Day!

Special Education Day is celebrated on December 2 to commemorate the signing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act into law on this day in 1975 (IDEA). IDEA granted access to children with special needs to free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

Main Office Personnel

Stephanie Hitchcock
Tracey Urlaub
Dean of Students
Helen Feldkamp
Office Assistant
Kristen Sherwood
Office Assistant


  • 8:20 - Doors Open/Breakfast
  • 8:33 - Instruction Begins
  • 3:42 - Dismissal

Half Day Dismissal is 11:45 am

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Located on twenty acres of land donated by local philanthropist Jesse Besser, the school opened in 1958 as an elementary school of the K-8 Thunder Bay School District. Besser became part of Alpena Public Schools as a junior high school in 1963. Due to declining enrollment, Besser was closed from 1983 until it reopened in 1986 as an elementary school.