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Process, Protocols and Procedures for Inclement Weather

As we head into the winter months, we want to remind students, staff, families and community members about the process, protocols and procedures we will initiate and follow should we need to close our schools due to inclement weather.

Timing and Communication
When faced with a forecast of inclement weather, it has become increasingly more common for school districts to announce a cancellation the afternoon or evening before the heavy precipitation or severe temperatures descend upon the area. By doing so, districts can provide families and staff with additional time and flexibility to plan for the closure. While we understand and appreciate that having as much advance notice as possible is preferable in these situations, the weather during the past few years has proven to be increasingly unpredictable.

Whenever possible, District 86, District 99 in Downers Grove and the elementary districts that feed into our schools will seek to make and communicate decisions about weather-related closings the night before. This will include notifying stakeholders if the forecast or conditions warrant additional monitoring prior to making a final decision. If the forecast changes or conditions deteriorate overnight, we will let people know about the status of school no later than 5:30 a.m. the next day. Barring any unusual or unforeseen circumstances (e.g., a significant change in temperature), a decision to close our buildings will not be rescinded. This decision will also apply to any before or after-school activities unless you or your child is notified by a coach or sponsor that they have received permission from the building administration to proceed with an activity as planned/scheduled.

We will use the Blackboard notification system’s phone, email and text functions to communicate weather-related decisions with families and staff. We will post announcements on the district’s family of websites and social media accounts. We will post our status on the Emergency Closing Center website, which is a publicly accessible resource that is used to gather information about school closings. We will also share the information with members of the local press.

E-learning
If we close our schools due to inclement weather, we will implement an Emergency Weather Learning (E-learning) Day for students and staff. On these days, students will engage in asynchronous learning from home during which they will complete coursework that will serve as an extension of what was already done in class, or act as a bridge to the next day’s lesson. Teachers will post assignments on Canvas by 9 a.m., and students will be required to check in to each class via a Google Form prior to 1 p.m. You can access a video about what the E-learning Day experience will be like for students by visiting https://bit.ly/3DCnsdx. You can also access a frequently asked questions document about these days by visiting https://bit.ly/3lHP6j0. This document includes information about attendance, assignments, dealing with possible technical issues and accommodations for students with special needs.

Students should take their Chromebooks and chargers home with them if the forecast calls for severe weather.