During the school year there may be times when one or all of the schools may be closed. In most cases school closures are the result of weather related conditions. The Northfield Township Superintendents have developed guidelines pertaining to these closures. We recognize that everyone looks at weather related closures through their own personal lens and there may be times that you may not agree with the District’s decision. Please know that any decision we make will be made with the safety of the children as our top priority.
Parents and students should assume that classes are in session at the normal time unless otherwise notified.
E-Learning in lieu of Emergency Closing for 2020-21
For the 2020-21 school year, the District 225 Board of Education approved the use of E-Learning days in lieu of Emergency Days being added at the end of the school year in June. This means that instead of school closures for emergency and weather-related conditions, such as “snow days,” E-Learning days will be used. This action was exclusive of the Learning and Operational Plan the District is currently operating under due to COVID-19.
In the event of a weather-related school closing or other emergency, parents can expect to receive an automated phone call and email. During the annual verification of enrollment process, parents are asked to verify their contact information. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide updated contact information and/or preferences to the school.
School closure decisions when implementing E-Learning Days will usually be made before 9:00 p.m. the day before the school closure. This allows sufficient time for teachers and students to be prepared for an E-Learning Day. Parents should establish contingency plans for possible closures throughout the school year regardless of the season.
On the day of E-Learning, students will log onto Zoom for their classes and access learning materials by going to their teachers’ Google Classroom. Synchronous online learning sessions will be conducted by teachers. The bell schedule will remain the same (see Hybrid Bell Schedule on school websites).
If there is an Emergency Closure
Priority on Safety
During periods of inclement weather or in emergency situations, our first priority is the safety and welfare of our students and staff. At the same time, the closing of school can be burdensome to families due to child care and work schedules. We consider cancelling school to be an exception and we place a strong emphasis on keeping our schools open. Some of the primary factors that are considered when making a decision include:
- Safety and well-being of students and staff
- Severity of the weather (extreme cold, flooding, etc.)
- Timing of the weather
- Ability of buses and cars to travel safely
- Operable condition of our buildings
Making the Decision
The superintendent is given the authority by the Board of Education to determine when and if conditions at one or both of the high schools warrant a later start to the school day, the dismissal of students prior to the close of the school day, or the cancellation of school. This decision is normally made in collaboration with the building administration, other area superintendents, local Village departments, the bus service provider and the Illinois Department of Transportation depending on the condition.
Whenever possible, Glenbrook HS District 225 works collaboratively with feeder elementary districts 27, 28, 30, 31 and 34 on school closings and we keep them informed on late arrival or early dismissal actions. It is always our goal to make decisions that are reflective and helpful to the family condition. There are times, however, that the high school district or an individual feeder district may need to make an independent decision based on the existing conditions and the needs of their specific population.
Data source: The National Weather Service (NWS) will be the primary meteorological source to determine and declare weather conditions such as snow forecasts, wind-chill advisory or wind-chill warnings.
Notification to Parents
In the event of a school closing or other emergency, parents can expect to receive an automated phone call and e-mail. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide contact information and/or preferences to the school. This process was completed during booksale, but must be updated if either a phone number or e-mail is changed during the school year.
School closure decisions will usually be made before 6:00 a.m. the day of closure. This allows weather conditions to be monitored overnight to avoid unnecessary closures. Closure decisions will only be made the night before if conditions are certain and warrant closure. Parents should establish contingency plans for possible closures throughout the school year regardless of the season.
- Emergency and closing information is also available through the following sources:
- School and district websites,
- WGN’s Emergency Closings website,
- Mass media including major radio and TV sources, and
- School and District social media channels
School is Not Cancelled: Parents and students should assume that classes are in session at the normal time unless otherwise notified.
School Cancellation: School may be cancelled due to weather conditions or other emergency conditions that made the operation of school facilities unsafe.
School may be cancelled for all District 225 school facilities or for an individual facility as necessary.
- All after-school activities and field trips will be cancelled unless specifically announced by the school principal.
- All student events will be cancelled unless specifically announced by the school principal.
- Athletic events and practices will be cancelled unless specifically announced by the school principal.
- Alliance for Lifelong Learning – Classes will be cancelled.
- Non-district events that have event contracts to use district facilities will be cancelled unless announced by the school principal.
Full Closure of District 225 Buildings: In extreme conditions or due to large-scale damage, the superintendent may close all buildings and cancel all events.
Late Start: In extreme conditions, this option is only used when conditions at the high school require that they operate separately from the elementary schools. The high school will operate on the pre-established late arrival day schedule designed for professional development days.
Early Dismissal: This option will be utilized by the high schools only when necessary. Current bus schedules for the elementary districts will remain unaffected by this action.
Severe Cold – Two Possible Outcomes
Wind-Chill Warning: Schools Will be Closed
Schools will be closed under the condition of a Wind-chill warning. A wind-chill warning indicates that life-threatening conditions and a risk to safety exists. Measures should be taken to safeguard life and property immediately. A Wind-chill warning is typically issued when the wind-chill will be -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder and the winds are greater than or equal to 10 mph OR the actual temperature is -15° F.
Wind-Chill Advisory: Schools Will be Open
A Wind-chill advisory is issued when conditions do not meet the wind-chill warning criteria but still cause significant inconvenience. The weather during a wind-chill advisory is not life threatening but presents conditions that may result in inconvenience or pose moderate risk to safety. A wind-chill advisory is typically issued when the wind chill is -20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder AND the winds are greater than OR equal to 10 mph.
Severe Cold Action Day: Wind-chill Advisory
General Range – Wind-chills -20°F to -29°F and wind speeds 10 mph or greater or Actual temperature -5°F to -14°F
- Schools will be open and student attendance is expected.
- Fire and Police will be notified prior to the start of the school day of the Severe Cold Action Day designation.
- School administrators will be given authority to keep students in the building in the event of a fire alarm and will relocate students to a safe location within the building. In the event of an evacuation, administrators will institute parallel evacuation protocols to return students to a safe interior location.
- Extracurricular activities will be evaluated on a case by case basis and may be suspended if conditions persist.
- All Off-Campus activities during the school day will be suspended (this includes but is not limited to: all off-site daytime programs, field trips, and work programs).
- Scheduled student transports between buildings will be assessed.
- All outside student activities will be suspended.
- Curricular aquatics activities will be suspended.
- All classroom lab-based activities that have potential to cause fire or smoke alarm activation will be reevaluated or rescheduled. Communication and coordination with the impacted departments will be conducted by building administration.
- Students will be allowed to keep outerwear with them while in the building.
Severe Cold School Closure Day: Wind-Chill Warning
General Range – Wind-chills -30°F or less and wind speeds 10 mph or greater or Actual temperature -15°F or less
- Classes will be cancelled and school closure protocols will be instituted
- All notification systems will be leveraged to send school cancellation communications to families
- Extracurricular activities will be cancelled
Whenever a decision is made to cancel school or alter the school day, it is based on the general safety conditions for all students and staff. The district recognizes that conditions may vary for each individual student or family. If you feel that it is unsafe to send your student to school, please contact the school attendance office and the student will be given an excused absence.