School Closing Protocol

There are times when inclement weather or other emergencies warrant school closure. The Northfield Township superintendents have developed these guidelines for use in making school closure decisions. Please know that all decisions will be made with the safety of children as our top priority.
 
Parents and students should assume that classes are in session at the normal time unless otherwise notified.
 
Guidelines for School Closures
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 strong emphasis on keeping our schools open. Some of the primary factors that are considered when making a school closure decision include:
 
- The safety and well-being of students and staff
- Severity of the weather (extreme cold, excessive snow, flooding, etc.)
- Timing of the weather events
- The ability of buses and cars to travel safely
- The operable condition of our buildings
 
If school does remain open and you feel that it is unsafe to send your student to school, please contact the school office and your student will be granted an excused absence.
 
Making the Decision
The Superintendent of Schools determines when and if conditions at one or more of the schools warrant the cancellation of school. This decision is normally made in collaboration with the District Administration, other area superintendents, local Village departments, the bus service provider, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
 
Northbrook District 27 works collaboratively with Glenbrook District 225 and our Township Districts 28, 30, 31, 34, and NSSED on school closing decisions. Because we have many families whose students are enrolled at both GBN and District 27, we seek to be consistent to create the least amount of disruption. This may not always occur, but please be assured it is a priority in our deliberations.
 
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 Our Parents
In the event of a school closing or other emergency, parents can expect to receive an automated phone call, e-mail, and text message. It is the responsibility of the parent to provide the schools with updated contact information if either a phone number or e-mail is changed during the school year.
 
School closure decisions will normally 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 known for 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
- The district’s social media sites
 
General Information Regarding School Cancellation
School may be cancelled due to weather conditions or other emergency situations that make the operation of school facilities unsafe. General guidelines:
 
  • School may be cancelled for all District 27 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.
 
Heavy Snow – School Will Be Closed
If we have heavy snow that creates a safety hazard for students and staff, prohibits travel, or prevents buildings from being prepared for a regular school day, school will be closed. Parents will be notified by all communication methods previously identified.
 
Unlike cold, it is more challenging to determine if the conditions will result in a closure due to snow. More often than not, parents should expect notification of a school closure due to snow in the morning.
 
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 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 degrees Fahrenheit or colder and the winds are greater than or equal to 10 mph OR the actual temperature is -15° F.
 
Wind-chill of -30°F or lower and wind speed of 10 mph or greater or actual temperature of -15°F or lower:
Classes will be cancelled and school closure protocols will be instituted.
All notification systems will be activated to send school cancellation communications to families.
Extracurricular activities will be cancelled.
 
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 to OR equal to 10 mph.
 
Wind-chill of -20°F to -29°F and wind speed of 10 mph or greater or actual temperature of -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 these school days.
Extracurricular activities will be evaluated and may be suspended if conditions persist.
All outside student activities will be suspended.
 
Family Situation
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. As mentioned above, if you feel that it is unsafe to send your student to school, please contact the school office and the student will be granted an excused absence.