Weather and School Closures
Severe Weather Announcements
Please familiarize yourself with school closure notification procedures. If there is a need to close school due to weather, parents and staff will receive voicemail and email notifications as early as possible. The district will also post school closing information on the District 41 website, school websites, and will report to the Emergency Closing Center
Here is an overview of District 41 emergency school closure procedures and emergency dismissal procedures.
Be prepared: There are several things parents can do to be prepared in case school is closed or dismissal is delayed due to an emergency.
• Have contingency plans in place in case school is closed, dismisses early, or there are other unanticipated changes to your normal family routine.
• Make sure that the school has your current contact information. If your phone number (work, home or cell) or email has changed, let the school office know immediately.
• Make sure you are signed up for E-News, which is a key way emergency information is communicated. You can subscribe or enter a new email address by visiting www.d41.org, and entering your email where indicated by the E-News icon or by emailing Chief Communications Officer Erika Krehbiel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Have permission for another responsible adult to pick up your child on file at school in case an emergency dismissal occurs and you are not available. To give the school permission to release your child to a person other than a parent or guardian, please send a note stating the name and phone number of the person(s) to school. The permission will be placed in your child’s file for reference. We will not release children to persons (other than a parent or guardian) for whom we have not received permission.
Snow day procedures: Most years, severe weather causes schools to be closed at least once, and it’s a good idea for families to have a back-up childcare plan in place in case school is ever closed due to weather or another emergency.
The decision to close school is made after consideration of current and predicted weather and road conditions, including snow accumulation, visibility, wind speeds, ice, temperature, and road closures. Among the questions considered are these: Is it safe to be on the roads? Can teachers get to school? Can the buses run? Do we anticipate significant delays to our buses? Is it safe for students to be outside waiting for buses? Is it safe for students to walk? Is the weather expected to clear, remain the same or get worse?
Ideally, District 41 will make the final decision to close school due to weather no later than 5:30 a.m. If the decision is to close school, District 41 immediately informs parents through automated phone calls and E-News. It posts a closure notice on www.d41.org, records closure information in the school voicemail greetings, and notifies the local media. District 41 also posts its closing information on Emergency Closing Center, and parents are encouraged to visit that site and sign up for its automatic email alert service. Please keep in mind that interruptions in power, phone or Internet service may affect our ability to implement these communication processes.
Regardless of whether school is in session, parents always have the option to keep their child home for an excused absence if they feel the weather conditions warrant.
Delayed dismissal procedures: If severe weather is imminent near dismissal time, the district will assess whether there is ample time for all children (including walkers and bus riders) to arrive home safely. If there is not ample time, children will be held at the buildings until conditions are safe for normal dismissal.
If dismissal is delayed, the District will notify parents through its automated calling system, and other methods as appropriate for the conditions.
During a delayed dismissal, children are held at school, but may be released directly to a parent, guardian, or to another adult who has been authorized by the parent, unless the Principal feels conditions are too hazardous for any release. However, parents are urged to stay home until conditions clear.
When dismissal resumes, we will send an additional phone message to let you know that your children are on their way. There may be times when the severe weather has passed, but we cannot safely release children due to darkness, downed power lines or other hazardous conditions. If we feel travel conditions make it necessary for an authorized adult to pick up children, you will receive another phone message. As noted above, we must have permission on file to release your child to a person other than a parent or guardian.
For general emergency information including fire drills and building security click here