Winter Weather Information for Parents
Posted on 12/13/2016
Information for Parents

Winter Weather Information

Winter weather has arrived once again.  Please take a moment to review this document containing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on school closing for inclement weather.  Please note that the official school calendar for 2016-2017 has five emergency/snow days built into the end of the year, with the last emergency/snow day on the school calendar listed as May 31, 2017.  We encourage you to plan vacation travels and summer activities after May 31, 2017 to maximize your student’s learning opportunities.  As always, the safety and well-being of students and employees guide our decision-making regarding inclement weather.  

Winter Weather Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  When (What time) is the decision made to cancel school?

Closing the Morning of School

  • Area superintendents awake around 4:00 am to evaluate conditions and weather forecasts and begin communicating with each other around 4:30 am.
  • Bus company personnel drive routes as needed to evaluate the safety of bus routes.  The bus company reports to the superintendents no later than 5:30 am.
  • All information is gathered and the decision is typically made around 5:40 so that notification of the closing can made using the automated calling system.  

Closing the Night Before

  • Area superintendents are in communication with each other as early as possible.
  • The decision to cancel school is typically made no later than 9:00 pm so that notification of the closing can be viewed on the 10:00 pm news. 

The decision to close school is always made at the earliest reasonable time.  The automated calling system is activated once the decision is made.  Please note the automated calling system must call nearly 700 numbers when Shiloh Village SD #85 sends an “all call” to our employees and students.  It is important that families not rely on the automated calling system as the only source of information, as there is always the possibility of a system delay in calling or a technical difficulty.  Please always check other sources for notification (news media and district web site) on days of inclement weather.
 
Question:  What factor(s) determine when school will be cancelled?
 
Each school district has unique circumstances to evaluate when making the decision to cancel school.  Considerations common to Shiloh are as follows:

Road Conditions

  • In general, are the roads safe for travel within village limits as well as rural areas? 
  • Are the roads safe for bus traffic? 
  • Can school busses adequately maneuver?

 Parking Lot and Drop-Off Zone Conditions

  • Are school parking lots and drop-off zones safe for drivers and students?
  • Can students and employees safely walk into our buildings?

Bus Stops and Sidewalks

  • Do students have a safe place to wait for the bus?
  • Are sidewalks clear so that students have safe access to bus stops? 
  • Are students able to access sidewalks to walk safely to school?

 Temperature and Wind Chill

  • Are wind chill temperatures safe for students as they walk to school or wait at bus stops?
  • Are wind chill temperatures so extreme that automobile and bus reliability is in question?
  • In general, Shiloh Village SD #85 uses a -30 degree wind chill as a benchmark to cancel school as indicated by the red line on the National Weather Service chart below.  The district may cancel school for wind chills less than -30 degrees if other factors are present that impact safety.image


 

Facilities

  • Are facilities suitable for use given the weather condition? 
  • What are possible or probable issues for the facility given the weather conditions?

Weather

  • What are current weather conditions? 
  • What is the weather forecast? 
  • What issues will incoming weather potentially create?

 Other School Districts and Cooperatives

  • What decisions are being made by other area school districts? 
  • How will their decision impact shared services, common classrooms, or shared events?

This list is not all inclusive, but it provides an idea of the issues that are considered when making the decision to cancel school. 

Question:  Is there a delayed start schedule that Shiloh Schools use when there is inclement weather?

 Shiloh does not have a delayed start schedule.  If there is inclement weather that results in safety concerns, school will be cancelled. 

A delayed start time for the school day would necessitate a reduction of instructional minutes for various class periods during the day.  This reduction of class time would interfere with planned educational lessons.  Tests, labs, or other instructional activities may not have adequate time to be completed during the shortened class period, thus creating the inability to meet educational objectives as scheduled.  It is believed a delayed start to the school day is more detrimental to the learning sequence than to simply cancel school and reschedule the day in its entirety.  Shiloh Schools place the emphasis on learning, rather than just getting a day of school in the books.  In addition, transportation/bussing considerations make a delayed start schedule less desirable.

 Question:  Will students be allowed to practice or participate in extracurricular activities when school has been cancelled?

 Once Shiloh Village SD #85 has made the decision to close school all practices, extracurricular activities and games are cancelled for that day. 

 

At all times, the safety and well-being of our students and employees governs all decision-making regarding school closures.  Shiloh will always error on the side of safety when making a decision.
 

Thank you again for your understanding and support during the challenges of the winter season.