As we enter the winter months, 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 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 weather:
- Schools will be closed if there is a forecasted sustained wind chill of -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, or when the actual temperature is a sustained -15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, between the travel times of 5:30 AM – 9:00 AM and/or 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM. The District will use forecasts provided by the National Weather Service.
- For snow, ice, or other weather-related closings, CCSD21 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. CCSD21 will also be in contact with our transportation companies to assess their ability to safely run buses. In these situations, the District will also be in contact 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.
- If school will be closed, CCSD21 will make the notification by 5:30 AM the day of the closing, knowing that you may need to arrange for childcare or other schedule changes. If we are able to make the determination the night before to close school – meaning the forecast undoubtedly warrants closure – we will attempt to notify you between 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM.
- Typically, we do not send out a telephone SchoolMessenger notice after 9:30 PM as the system can sometimes take up to an hour to complete all calls. 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. However, in the event the decision to close school is made after 9:30 PM, the District will wait and send out the telephone SchoolMessenger notice by 5:30 AM the following morning.
- When school is closed due to inclement weather, all extracurricular programs and school meetings (except for Board of Education meetings) are cancelled.
- It is important to remind you that Illinois School Code and District policy allow parents to call their student(s) out, as excused, in the event that the district keeps schools open, because, as a family, you have concerns about your child safely traveling to or from school.
For real-time, official information regarding school closures, please follow us on Twitter (@ccsd21), like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ccsd21), and log on to our web site (www.ccsd21.org).
As always, the safety and security of our students and staff remains a top priority of CCSD21, our high school district, and our community.
Dr. Michael Connolly