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District 54 Cold Weather Plan

Dear District 54 Families and Staff:

Now that winter has truly arrived, I wanted to revisit with you District 54’s procedures regarding how we make the decision to close schools or cancel after-school/evening activities. District 54 makes every effort to keep our schools open, but circumstances beyond our control (such as Chicagoland winters) sometimes dictate that we close.

Please know that every decision we make revolves around what is best for our students. In deciding whether to close school for the day, our top concern is whether we believe the more than 15,000 students we serve can get to school safely (whether they walk, take a bus or ride in a car). We cancelled after-school activities on Jan. 18 and 22 because the roads were predicted to become dangerous due to the precipitation. Our hope was to get students home safely before that occurred.

District 54 refers to the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov) to monitor weather advisories and warnings. Currently, the site is predicting an arctic air mass will bring a period of bitterly cold conditions Thursday night into next week. To help you prepare for that possibility, here are our cold weather guidelines.

Wind Chill Warning

  • A wind chill warning is typically issued when the wind chill will be -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder OR the actual air temperature is -15°F.
  • Classes and extracurricular activities will be cancelled.

Wind Chill Advisory

  • A wind chill advisory is typically issued when the wind chill is -20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
  • Schools will be open, but students will not go outside for recess or PE.

Most importantly, remember that parents and guardians ultimately make the decision whether to send their children to school. If you decide to keep your child home on a day in which the weather is extremely inclement, the absence will be considered excused and your child will be given every opportunity to make up missed work.

If we were to close school, we will call and email all District 54 families (students and staff) by 6:30 a.m. that day (at the latest). District 54 often waits until the morning to cancel school, because the weather in the Chicagoland area is constantly changing and we hope that we can have school.

More information can be found online at sd54.org/schoolcancellations. Thank you for working with us to keep District 54 students safe.

Sincerely,

Andy DuRoss

Superintendent of Schools