Winter Weather School Closing Guidelines
As we enter the winter months, CCSD59 would like to update you on decisions that contribute to closing school in the event of a weather-related closing and when you can expect to be notified. While the forecast is calling for cold temperatures tonight, the predicted temperature and wind chill do not meet our criteria for closing, so we are currently planning to hold school as usual tomorrow.
Over the course of the past two years, the District has engaged in collaborative and substantive discussions with HS District 214 and the other sender school districts and meteorologists. The District is committed to a process that ensures decisions are made wisely and in a timely fashion regarding the safety and well-being of our entire school community.
The District will follow these general guidelines when closing schools for winter-related closings:
Schools will be closed if there is a forecasted sustained wind chill of -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, or when the actual air temperature is a sustained -15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder between the travel times of 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and/or 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The District will use forecasts provided by the National Weather Service.
For snow, ice, or other weather-related closings, the District will monitor the current conditions, the forecasted conditions between the travel times listed above, the ability of our staff to plow parking lots and sidewalks, as well as the ability of local municipalities to plow and make streets passable. The District will also be in contact with its transportation carriers to assess their ability to safely run buses. In these situations, the District will be in contact with local and State officials and meteorologists in order to make the most appropriate decision with the facts known at that respective time.
If school will be closed, the District will make the notification by 5:30 a.m. the day of the closing knowing that you may need to arrange for childcare or other schedule changes. If the District is able to make the determination the night before to close school – meaning the forecast undoubtedly warrants closure – the District will attempt to notify you between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Typically, the District does not send out a telephone SchoolMessenger notice after 9:30 p.m., as the system can sometimes take up to an hour or so to complete all calls. However, if the determination to close school occurs after 9:00pm, we will update school and CCSD59 websites, social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter – @ccsd59), and the Emergency Closing Center Website (www.emergencyclosingcenter.com) as soon as a decision has been made. The SchoolMessenger notice will be also sent prior to 5:30 am the following morning.
In the event of severe weather, information regarding afternoon and evening co-curricular activities, athletics and community education classes will be updated by 1:00 p.m. or whenever practicable on the District website at ccsd59.org.
School Code and District policy allows parents to call their student out, as excused, in the event that the district keeps schools open, but as a family, you have concerns about your child safely traveling to or from school.
As always, the safety and security of our students and staff remains a top priority of our District, as they are for you as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this correspondence. Fingers crossed for a mild winter…
Dr. Art Fessler