In the event of bad weather or any other reason that would force school to be closed, Maine Township High School District 207 will officially post that information on the front page of the district and school websites, as well as via the school district’s official social media accounts. The closing information also will be shared through phone calls, emails and text directly to parents. The information will be shared with local television and radio stations as well. This communication will also be followed in the event he decision is made to hold a virtual learning day where students learn at home rather than in person.
When making the decision to close school for any reason, administrators carefully consider the safety of students and staff. There are many factors that impact a decision to close school for weather, including, but not limited to, the ability of our students and staff members to get to and from school safely, the current and forecasted weather.
Listed below is additional information how parents and students are notified, the information utilized to make school closing decisions and how we work with partner districts on a decision to close school due to weather.
How Parents and Students are Notified
When it is deemed it necessary to close schools due to weather or in the event of a school emergency, parents can expect to receive an automated phone call, e-mail and text message if they have opted in for that service. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide contact information and/or preferences to the school. The district attempts to make school closure decisions by 5:30 a.m. This allows the superintendent to monitor weather overnight and avoid unnecessary closures. A decision will be made the night before only if it is certain that conditions the next morning will warrant closure. Closing information is also available through:
- School and district websites
- District Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/Maine_207
- District Facebook feed at https://www.facebook.com/District207/
- WGN’s Emergency Closings website: http://www.emergencyclosingcenter.com/
- Major radio and TV sources
Local Districts Work Together
School superintendents from Maine Township High School District 207, Des Plaines District 62, East Maine District 63, Park Ridge-Niles District 64 and Pennoyer District 79 have developed guidelines related to closures and work together on closing decisions. There may be a rare occasion, however, when any individual district may need to make an independent decision based on existing conditions and the needs of its school population.
School administrators understand that individual views on weather-related school closings vary and that not everyone will always agree with district decisions. However, please know that any decision is made with student safety as our top priority. At the same time, we know that closings create child care and work schedule problems for families. For many reasons, we always prefer to keep schools open. In deciding, superintendents consult with local municipal departments and use National Weather Service data. Some factors we consider include:
- Safety of students and staff
- Severity of weather (extreme cold, flooding, etc.)
- Timing of the weather
- Ability of vehicles to travel safely and ability of students to walk to and from school safely
- Ability of staff to get to school
- Operable condition of our buildings and ability to maintain safe conditions around our buildings,
sidewalks and parking lots.
- Cancellation – School cancelled due to weather or other emergency conditions that make the
operation of school facilities unsafe.
- Late Start – This option is used only when National Weather Service indicates that an early-
morning Wind Chill Warning will likely be downgraded to a Wind Chill Advisory later in the
- Early Dismissal – Utilized only when necessary.
Wind-Chill is a Factor
There are two wind-chill designations.
Wind-Chill Warning – Schools Typically Closed
Schools will be closed under the condition of a wind-chill warning, which indicates that life-threatening conditions and a risk to safety exist. Measures should be taken to safeguard life and property immediately. A wind-chill warning is typically issued when the wind-chill will be -30° F or colder OR the actual temperature is -15° F or colder.
Wind-Chill Advisory – Schools Typically 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 F or colder.
Extracurricular activities will be evaluated and may be suspended if conditions warrant; updates will be posted on school websites and through social media.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is the primary meteorological source to determine and declare weather conditions such as snow forecasts, wind-chill advisory or wind-chill warnings. http://www.weather.gov/
Any decision to cancel school or alter the school day is based on general safety conditions for all students and staff. Districts know that conditions may vary for each student or family. If schools are open during a weather event, a parent feels it is unsafe to send their child(ren) to school, please contact the attendance office.