Prospect Heights School District 23 News Article

Winter Weather Guidelines For School Closings

November 26, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As we enter the winter months, we would like to update you on some of the factors that contribute to decisions related to closing school in the event of inclement weather, when you can expect to be notified, and indoor/outdoor recess guidelines.

Over the course of the past year, 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.

Prospect Heights 23 will follow these general guidelines when closing schools for winter-related closings:

  • 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 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and/or 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. The District will use forecasts provided by the National Weather Service.
  • For snow, ice, or other weather-related closings, the District 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. The District will also be in contact with our transportation company to assess their ability to safely run buses. Lastly, we will consult with our neighboring districts and local police departments.
  • If the District is able to make the determination to close school the night before, we will contact you between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. If the decision cannot be made the night before, we will make the notification by 5:30 a.m. the day of the closing knowing that you may need to arrange for childcare or other schedule changes.
  • When school is closed due to inclement weather, all extracurricular programs and school meetings (except for Board meetings) are canceled.
  • In the event of severe weather, information regarding afternoon and evening activities will be updated by 1:00 p.m.

Prospect Heights 23 will inform students, families, and staff via the following methods:

  • The District will utilize our automated phone and email system to notify families of weather-related closures or cancellations until 9:30 p.m. Typically, we do not send out a telephone notice after 9:30 p.m.
  • However, in the event the decision to close school is made after 9:30 p.m., the District will wait and send out the telephone notice by 5:30 a.m. the following morning.

The District will update its website (www.d23.org), Twitter (@PHSD23), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PHSD23) and the Emergency Closing Center website (www.emergencyclosingcenter.com) as soon as a decision has been made. These avenues will be updated in real time as a decision is made.

Prospect Heights 23 will follow these general guidelines regarding indoor/outdoor recess:

  • Elementary students have outdoor recess whenever possible.  Students perform better when they get outdoors, even if only for a few minutes.
  •       Outdoor Recess: 10 degrees F and higher (including wind chill)
  •       Inside Recess:  below 10 degrees F (including wind chill)

Students must have boots, gloves and snow pants to play in the snow.  Those who don’t must stay on the blacktop area. Parents should assist children in preparing and wearing appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.  

As always, the safety and security of our students and staff remain a top priority of PHSD23, our high school district, and our community. The building principal and central office administration will make all decisions regarding weather-related closure or cancellation of activities. It is important to remind you that Illinois School Code and District policy allows 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.


Sincerely,


Donald S. Angelaccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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