Emergency Closings FAQ

Which factors do we consider when evaluating extreme weather conditions? 

The safety of our students and staff weighs heavily into any decision we make regarding the closure of in-person schooling due to inclement weather. Street conditions (both in Wilmette and in surrounding municipalities), weather conditions including temperature, wind chill and snow accumulation, school building conditions and bus conditions are all considered and used to inform the decision. We also consult with the Village of Wilmette and our local school district neighbors, including New Trier High School District 203, to evaluate conditions and forecasts before making a final determination regarding weather, safety conditions and school closures. 

 

How will parents be notified of a school closing?

If inclement weather conditions warrant cancelling in-person schooling, the district will typically pivot to remote learning for the day. District 39 parents and guardians will receive an email, automated call and text message from the school by 5:30 a.m. on the morning of the in-person school closing. Additionally, in-person school closure notifications are posted to our district website and are relayed to all major Chicago radio and television outlets. Parents are encouraged to check email, cell phone messages or the district website for information regarding in-person school closures.   

 

Will in-person students pivot to a remote learning day?

Yes!  If in-person school is cancelled due to inclement weather, our students who would have otherwise attended in-person school on that day will pivot to remote learning.  An emergency remote learning day due to inclement weather will function much like a typical remote learning day, with additional flexibility allowed to teachers and students.  Teachers will provide Zoom links and the schedule of activities and assignments to students.  Zoom links and assignments will be posted on Seesaw for elementary students and on Schoology for HMS/WJHS students.  It is our sincere hope that our students will continue to engage in learning on an emergency remote learning day due to inclement weather; however, it is also our hope that students will be afforded the flexibility to enjoy the spontaneity and joy that a special, unexpected snow day offers.  Synchronous learning is expected along with some flexibility and fun.  


Will the enhanced fully remote learning program continue as usual?

Yes!  If in-person school is cancelled due to inclement weather, our students who would have otherwise participated within the enhanced fully remote learning program on that day will continue as planned.  An emergency remote learning day due to inclement weather will function much like a typical day for these students, with additional flexibility allowed to teachers and students. It is our sincere hope that our students will continue to engage in learning on an emergency remote learning day due to inclement weather; however, it is also our hope that students will be afforded the flexibility to enjoy the spontaneity and joy that a special, unexpected snow day offers.  Synchronous learning as otherwise planned is expected, along with some flexibility and fun.  


Will the D39 calendar need to be adjusted as a result of this emergency closure? 

No. Due to our ability to flexibly pivot to a remote learning day, our 2020-2021 school calendar will not change due to this emergency inclement weather adjustment to remote learning. (If emergency conditions result in a full school day cancellation during which no remote learning is able to be provided, the missed school day would need to be made up by using one of the emergency days reserved in June.) Thankfully, through our remote learning planning, we have the option to continue learning on days when weather makes physically traveling to school for in-person learning unsafe.  


What should I do if I do not hear that in-person schooling is cancelled?

The district will send out a voice call, email and a text message to families and staff if in-person schooling must be cancelled due to inclement weather.  In addition, in-person school closure notifications are posted to our district website. If there are no notices of school closures, school is in session as planned. Please exercise caution traveling to and from school, and dress appropriately for the weather conditions. 


When in-person school is in session, what should parents know to keep their children safe and warm?

Our school principals regularly monitor weather throughout each school day in order to make decisions regarding outdoor exposure of our students. We value the learning opportunities and play that our students experience when they are outdoors for recess, and plan for outdoor recess whenever it is safe for our students. Students go outside for recess daily and are also outside during arrival and dismissal, unless extreme weather events prevent this. To help keep our students safe and able to fully enjoy their outdoor time, students are encouraged to dress warmly and prepared for play. Hats, gloves, face coverings, winter coats, snow pants and boots are strongly encouraged.

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