Winter Weather School Closing Guidelines
Community Consolidated School District 21 would like to update you on some of the factors that contribute to closing school in the event of inclement weather and when you can expect to be notified. Over the course of the past several years, we have been engaged in collaborative discussions with Township High School District 214 as well as our neighboring districts. Together, we are 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.
CCSD21 will follow these general guidelines when closing schools for winter-related closings:
CCSD21 refers to the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov) to monitor the weather and will follow these general guidelines in connection with winter weather:
If there is a forecasted sustained wind chill of -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder OR if the actual temperature is a sustained -15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder from the travel times of 5:30 AM – 9:00 AM and/or 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM:
School is closed; and
All extracurricular programs, field trips and school meetings (except for Board of Education meetings) are canceled.
When snow, ice or other weather-related winter circumstances impact travel, CCSD21 will monitor conditions from the travel times of 5:30 AM – 9:00 AM and/or 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM to make an appropriate decision. The following considerations will be weighed:
The ability for local municipalities to plow and make streets passable;
The ability of our staff to plow parking lots and sidewalks;
The ability of First Student to safely run buses; and
Discussions with our neighboring districts, our local and state officials, and meteorologists in order to make the most appropriate decision with the facts known at that respective time.
Students Outside the District
If your student attends a school outside the CCSD21 District (for example: North Cook Young Adult Academy) or due to an IEP, transportation will be canceled to that school if CCSD21 schools are canceled.
In the event of an emergency weather day where travel is deemed hazardous, it is our intention to have an E-Learning Day in its place. Students will engage in learning from home or virtually on an inclement weather day to maintain continuity of learning. An E-Learning Day is a full day of learning. Therefore, the emergency day would not need to be made up at the end of the school year. E-Learning days may only be used when students have the ability to engage in remote learning. Therefore, emergencies such as large-scale power outages would not qualify for an E-Learning Day.
If school is closed:
CCSD21 will send a notification by 5:30 AM the day of the closing, knowing that you may need to arrange for childcare or other accommodations. If we are able to make the determination to close school the night before – meaning the forecast undoubtedly warrants closure – we will attempt to notify you from 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM. (Typically, we do not send out a telephone ParentSquare notice after 9:30 PM as the system can sometimes take up to an hour to complete all calls.) However, in the event the decision to close school is made after 9:30 PM, the District will wait and send out a telephone notice by 5:30 AM the following morning.
CCSD21 uses a platform called ParentSquare to communicate with our families. All families and staff will receive calls, texts and email but in order to interact on a more personal level, we suggest you create a ParentSquare account. To do so, please click here and follow the instructions.
Additionally, the District will update its website, social media accounts, and the Emergency Closing Center website (www.emergencyclosingcenter.com) as soon as a decision has been made. For real-time, official information regarding school closures, please follow us on Twitter (@ccsd21), like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ccsd21), and visit our website (www.ccsd21.org).
Finally, it is important to remind you that Illinois School Code and District policy allows parents to keep their child home from school if they deem the weather too hazardous, even if the District keeps schools open. As a parent or guardian, you have the final decision concerning your child and their safely traveling to or from school.
As always, the safety and security of our students and staff remains a top priority of CCSD21, our high school district, and our community.