Dear District 54 Families and Staff,
Every fall as temperatures begin to drop, District 54 shares our procedures for severe winter weather so that you can be prepared. District 54 makes every effort to keep our schools open, but circumstances beyond our control (such as Chicagoland winters) sometimes dictate that we close.
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 due to a large amount of snow or a wind chill warning (whether they walk, take a bus or ride in a car).
I would like to remind all of you to consider now, what kind of alternative child care arrangements need to be made for your children should our school be closed for inclement weather or other related emergencies.
District 54 refers to the National Weather Service (www.weather.gov) to monitor weather advisories and warnings. To help you prepare for all possibilities, 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 will be canceled. District 54 will not offer remote learning instead of a snow day, as we cannot be sure that all students will have access to the necessary equipment, internet connection and supervision.
- Extracurricular activities will be suspended.
- All notification systems will be leveraged to communicate school cancellations to families.
Wind Chill Advisory
A wind chill advisory is typically issued when the wind chill is -20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.
- Schools will be open; however, all outside activities will be suspended, including recess and outdoor physical education.
- Extracurricular activities may be suspended if conditions persist. Updates will be posted on school websites and families will be notified if after-school activities are canceled.
- All field trips will be canceled.
Communication – Sources of Information
If District 54 were to cancel school, we will contact District 54 families (parents, guardians and staff) by 6:30 a.m. that day at the latest. District 54 often waits until the morning to make that call because the weather in the Chicagoland area is constantly changing.
District 54 uses a platform called ParentSquare to communicate with our families. All families and staff will receive calls, texts and emails whether or not you create a ParentSquare account. However, by creating an account you will be able to change your notification preferences, interact with requests, change your language preferences and see all of the messages previously sent to you, as well as staff directories and other information.
To create a ParentSquare account, go to parentsquare.com/signin and enter the email or cell phone number you provided to your school. ParentSquare also has a free app available on the Apple Store for iPhones or the Google Play Store for Androids. After logging in, click on your name at the top, and then My Account to see the contact information we have on file for you. Contact your school to update any information that may need to be changed.
Most importantly, remember that you, the parent or guardian, ultimately make the decision whether to send your child to school. If you do 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 the opportunity to make up missed work. Please call your children’s schools and let them know.
Superintendent of Schools