School District U-46 Emergency Closing Procedures


  • I. General Comments

    1. The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for closing buildings.


    2. Employee work day:

    a. The following administrators are to report for work at their work
    sites on emergency closing days:

    i. Elementary principals and assistant principals, for the
    purpose of ensuring that a student was not dropped at
    the school or walked to school not knowing that schools
    were closed.
    ii. All 12-month administrators
    iii. All 12-month principals
    iv. All 12-month associate principals
    v. All 12-month assistant principals

    b. All other 12-month employees, including 12-month secretaries
    are expected to work on emergency days.
    c. Administrators in all other categories will not work on
    emergency days but will have their work year extended.
    d. All other non-12-month employees will not work on emergency
    days but will have their work year extended.


    3. In the event the Chief Executive Officer closes schools, principals
    will develop emergency closing plans for their buildings, which
    include the closing of a full day or an early closing. See below.

    4. Principals will clarify with staff the conditions and ramifications of
    closing schools.

    5. When a regular school day is canceled as a result of inclement
    weather, all school activities are canceled.

    a. Any exceptions must be approved by the appropriate Assistant
    Superintendent.
    b. When high schools are closed prior to the end of a school day
    or school is canceled due to a weather-related emergency, the
    principal needs to notify opponent schools of the closing and
    inability to participate in any jointly scheduled events.

    6. Late Start - See section III below.


    a. If it is determined that school will start late:


    i. All start times will be delayed by two hours,
    ii. Bus pick up times will also be pushed back by two hours
    from their original schedule.
    iii. The alternative start times will be:

    1. High Schools 9:40 a.m.
    2. Elementary Schools:

    a. 10:00 a.m. for the 8:00 a.m. start time
    b. 10:30 a.m. for the 8:30 a.m. start time

    3. Middle Schools 11:00 a.m.

    7. The Director of School and Community Relations or designee will
    contact the media of an all-day closing by 5:45 a.m. and when early
    closings have been determined.

    8. Communication Plan:


    a. The Director of School and Community Relations or designee
    will alert all parents and employees who are currently in
    Connect-Ed by 5:45 a.m. in the event of an all-day closing.
    Message will be sent via phone, email and text.


    i. Messages will also be sent via the Blackboard app
    ii. Messages will also be posted on Social Media
    iii. A pop-up message will be posted on the District website.


    b. District-wide closing


    i. Principals should not send an extra Connect-Ed call to
    parents.

    c. Individual School Closing – If the Chief Executive Officer
    authorizes an individual school to close based on the
    recommendations of the Deputy Superintendent, the
    communication plan will be developed with the Principal of the
    school and the Director of School and Community Relations or
    his designee.

     

    II. Decision Process - Closing Due to Weather


    1. The Directors of Transportation and Plant Operations are made
    aware of weather conditions the night before to plan accordingly.


    2. By 4 a.m., the Director of Transportation begins the assessment of
    road conditions. Information is gathered from state, county and
    local police departments and from surrounding school district
    personnel.


    3. The Director of Plant Operations begins an assessment of school
    parking lots, buildings, emergency exits for fire/smoke, and air
    handling systems functionality at each facility.

    4. The following are the usual conditions that result in closing schools:

    a. Severe wind-chill factor.
    b. A heavy snow during the night:

    i. Weather causes roads to be hazardous.
    ii. Weather causes sidewalks and walking paths to be
    hazardous.
    iii. School parking lots are hazardous for driving and
    walking.
    iv. Emergency exits to buildings are blocked.
    v. Building air handling systems are blocked.

    c. Other severe or hazardous weather conditions.

    5. The Directors of Transportation and Plant Operations, in
    consultation with the Deputy Superintendent, determine if a
    recommendation to close schools is to be made by 5 a.m.


    6. The Director of Transportation provides the recommendation to the
    Chief Executive Officer.

    7. The Chief Executive Officer will make the decision to close schools
    for the day, if possible, by 5:15 a.m.

    8. If schools are closed, the communication plan occurs in the
    following order:

    a. ConnectEd phone message to all staff
    b. ConnectEd phone, email and text message to all families
    c. Social Media Posting
    d. Notification on school closing web services for TV broadcast
    purposes
    e. Pop-up message on website
    f. App Message
    g. Email to other media

     
    III. Late Start Due to Weather – Decision Process


    1. The Directors of Transportation and Plant Operations are made aware of
    weather conditions the night before to plan accordingly.


    2. By 4 a.m., the Director of Transportation begins the assessment of road
    conditions. Information is gathered from state, county and local police
    departments and from surrounding school district personnel.


    3. The Director of Plant Operations begins an assessment of school parking
    lots, buildings, emergency exits for fire/smoke, and air handling systems
    functionality at each facility.


    4. The following are the usual conditions that may result in late start:


    a. A severe wind chill that is expected to lessen in the early a.m.
    hours
    b. A heavy snow that runs through the early a.m. hours which may
    cause a delay in getting parking lots, sidewalks and other critical
    areas cleared of snow.
    c. Other severe or hazardous weather conditions


    5. The Directors of Transportation and Plant Operations, in consultation with
    the Deputy Superintendent, determine if a recommendation to start late
    will be made by 5:00 a.m.


    6. The Director of Transportation provides the recommendation to the Chief
    Executive Officer.

    7. The Chief Executive Officer will make the decision to hold a late start, if
    possible, by 5:15 a.m.

    8. If schools are opening later, the communication plan occurs in the
    following order:

    a. ConnectEd phone message to all staff
    b. ConnectEd phone, email and text message to all families
    c. Social Media Posting
    d. Notification on school closing web services for TV broadcast
    purposes
    e. Pop-up message on website
    f. App Message
    g. Email to other media

    9. What are the start times:


    a. All start times will be delayed by two hours, and school ends at the
    normal time.
    b. Bus pick up times will also be pushed back by two hours from their
    original schedule and drop off students at the normal time.
    c. The alternative start times will be:

    i. High Schools 9:40 a.m.
    ii. Elementary Schools:

    1. 10:00 a.m. for the 8:00 a.m. start time
    2. 10:30 a.m. for the 8:30 a.m. start time

    iii. Middle Schools 11:00 a.m.


    d. All ½ day school programs


    i. No buses will be available for all half-day school programs
    which include but are not limited to pre-school, alternative
    Ed. programs, Ombudsman, Phoenix, Dream Academy,
    Center House, Work based programs (see III - 10 below).
    ii. Morning session will be closed
    iii. Staff will report for work according to the 2 hour late start
    procedure.
    iv. Afternoon sessions starting after noon will be open but there
    are no buses. Staff should be prepared to receive students if
    brought to school by their families.


    e. When will staff arrive for work during late start to start school:


    i. Administrators must report to receive students and staff. If
    students arrive early, administration should prepare to
    receive them but explain to parents that the expectation is
    for parents/guardians send student according to the 2 hour
    late start. We encourage individual conversations with
    families if this persists as the purpose of the late start is that
    facilities are not ready to receive students and staff.
    ii. Teachers should arrive at a reasonable amount of time
    before students arrive.
    iii. Full time support staff should arrive 2 hours after their
    normal start time.
    iv. Part time support staff should arrive either before school
    starts or at their normal time when school starts late.


    10. In the event of a late start the following transportation services will not be
    provided:


    a. Elgin Ombudsman Program
    b. Burlington Vet Tech program
    c. All half-day preschool programs - morning and afternoon
    d. All working student programs
    e. All community based instruction trips
    f. Dream/New Beginnings Co-op morning session from 8:00-11:00
    g. Dream/New Beginnings Co-op afternoon session from 12:00-3:00
    h. Dream ROE/New Beginnings High School session from 10:00-3:05
    i. Dream/New Beginnings ROE evening session from 3:00-5:00
    j. Phoenix Morning session from 7:00-10:00
    k. Phoenix Afternoon session from 10:15-1:15


    11. The following items will also be impacted in the event of a late start:


    a. The morning SAFE program will be cancelled
    b. The breakfast program at all sites may not be available
    c. Principals at the high schools and middle schools will be
    responsible for communicating the modified bell schedule for the
    day to students and staff at their site.


    12. If a late start is called, the pick up times will be delayed by exactly 2
    hours. Example; if the students’ morning pick up time is 6:30 a.m., the
    late start pick up time will be at 8:30 a.m.


    13. All schools will dismiss at regular dismissal times when a late start
    occurs.

     

    IV. Early Closing for Weather - Decision Process


    1. The decision to close school early is made by the Chief Executive
    Officer based upon input from the Deputy Superintendent:

    a. The Directors of Transportation and Plant Operations will
    monitor the weather conditions and report to the Deputy
    Superintendent.
    b. The Director of Safety will communicate with local municipalities
    on conditions and report to the Deputy Superintendent.

    2. If closing early, the Director of Transportation will coordinate pick-up
    schedules with principals.


    3. See section III for communication process

     

    V. Decision Process - Closing Due to Emergency

    Process for determination of the closing of an individual building or all
    schools in an emergency situation, i.e., environmental hazard, utility
    failure, building or community hazard, etc. is as follows:

    1. The Deputy Superintendent will call for an emergency meeting for
    situational awareness of the hazard and consideration to close
    school(s).

    2. The Chief Executive Officer makes the final decision whether or not
    to close the school(s).

    3. The principal and head-custodian are notified of the situation by the
    Director of Safety or designee to plan for an evacuation according
    to the School Safety Guidebook– Emergency Operations Plan
    (SDS-SCR-M002), Annex H Evacuation Procedures.


    4. The Deputy Superintendent will coordinate communication and
    response plan.

    a. Deputy Superintendent will notify the Chief Executive Officer
    and Cabinet.
    b. Plant Operations is notified and then calls the appropriate
    agency - Commonwealth Edison, NICOR (NI-Gas), etc.
    c. District Safety coordinates and communicates with
    municipalities.
    d. District Safety or designee notifies principals when to evacuate
    and designates reunification location.
    e. District Safety contacts the principal of the reunification school.
    f. District Safety activates the District Crisis Response team for
    staff to be sent to the reunification center to assist.
    g. The principal or District Safety contacts the Transportation and
    Food Services Departments as needed.
    i. If bused to a reunification site, staff must accompany
    students on the bus.

    5. Principals have predetermined plans for staff and students for the
    emergency closing of the building (See School Safety Handbook –
    Administrators Guide). The staff is expected to work the normal
    workday. The work site, however, may be in a location away from
    the building.


    6. The Director of School and Community Relations or designee will
    make any appropriate announcements regarding the closing via
    ConnectEd, e-mail and website messages for the following:

    a. Appropriate student families.

    i. As soon as possible, a ConnectEd in emergency form to
    notify families of the evacuation and request
    parents/guardian to wait for further instructions.
    ii. A message to provide more detail on the evacuation
    reason and then provide parents/guardians direction on
    the reunification process.
    iii. A message after the reunification process has ended and information about next steps.

    b. Appropriate staff.

    c. Media.