Preparing for Winter Weather and Potential School Closing
With winter almost upon us, it is important to review the procedures we use to determine whether or not to close school due to concerns for student and staff safety. In the event school is closed, D60 implements a Remote Learning Day.
Since we live in Northern Illinois, there will be many cold winter days with snow and ice on the ground. Our first inclination is to keep school open. However, there are a few instances when closing may be necessary to ensure the safety of our staff and students.
· Snow - Excessive amounts of snow, particularly in the overnight hours, that makes timely snow removal difficult. Often times it is not the amount of snow, but when it falls, that necessitates closure.
· Ice - Icy road conditions can be just as dangerous as a large snowfall.
· Extreme Cold - There will be many cold days that school is still in session. However, when the wind chill is predicted to be -30 or below, we will begin to examine closing school. There is no magic number as we look at temperature, wind chill, the timing and duration of cold weather, and weigh that against the operation of our buses and the length of time students spend at the bus stop.
How are families notified of a school closure? Notification is made through our automated alert system (phone, e-mail, text). Information is also posted on our website and social media channels.
When will families be notified of a school closure? It is important to note that we partner with D86 and D99 to ensure a consistent schedule. If the call is made the night before, families will receive a phone call by 9:00 PM. If the call cannot be made the night before, we will analyze actual weather and road conditions to make a decision. At the latest, announcements will be made by 5:30 AM.
Will the district have a delayed start like the high schools? No. The childcare needs of parents in a K-8 district are different than those in a high school district. Also, our staggered school start times present logistical challenges.
Will the district ever dismiss students early because of weather? Only under the most dire circumstances. Again, the childcare needs of an early dismissal would be problematic for many families.
What about extracurricular programs? All extracurricular programs are cancelled in the event school is cancelled. Also, there may be times when school is held but inclement weather develops in the afternoon that necessitates the cancellation of activities.
In the event school is closed, parents and students should follow the established Remote Learning Day procedures.
Dr. Sean Nugent, Superintendent