Bad Weather Information
The first snowfall brings the concerns about school closings and is an ideal time to share the process for emergency school closings due to inclement weather.
The district’s first concern is the safety and welfare of students, as well as our staff who must also get to work under adverse conditions. While most citizens are sound asleep, the process begins during the night and early morning hours when bad weather is occurring.
Because nearly 25,000 students ride our buses daily, the director of transportation monitors weather reports and forecasts each evening. When conditions warrant, the director begins a proactive assessment by 4 a.m. In addition to making sure the buses are operable, the director gathers information from State, County and local police and colleagues in other area school districts.
All pertinent information is gathered and reported to the superintendent prior to 5 a.m. Based on the evaluation of conditions, the superintendent, based on input from the Director of Transportation and others, makes the decision on the status of schools, if possible, by 5:15 a.m. The usual factors that result in the closing of schools are:
· A severe wind-chill factor;
· A heavy snowfall during the night;
· Other severe or hazardous conditions.
If classes are cancelled for the entire day due to inclement weather, the district will send out a ConnectEd message to all parents and staff by 5:45 a.m. All local and Chicago media are contacted by 6 a.m. Also, closings will be posted on the district web site homepage at www.u-46.org, and announced on the outgoing message at the district’s central office phone number at 847-888-5000.
When the regular school day is cancelled, all school activities are cancelled as well.
Finally, the weather conditions can vary widely in our 90-square-mile-boundaries. It is inevitable that not everyone will be happy with the final decision whatever it may be. But readers can be assured that the district is always thorough and safety-conscious in making the judgment.