Winter Weather Guidelines
When winter weather occurs, the Champaign Unit 4 School District has a plan. The safety and well-being of our students is paramount, thus, the District has a comprehensive plan that is executed every time there is consideration of a school closing due to weather conditions. We understand that our decision affects families in a variety of ways. With that in mind, we thought the following information about the decision-making process would be helpful information for Champaign Unit 4 families.
HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
Please understand that in times of challenging weather conditions we make the decision to open or close schools based on a careful consideration of all relevant factors, such as:
- Weather service information - The district consults with the National Weather Service for updates regarding temperature and road conditions.
- Temperature and wind chill.
- Bus company information - District Office administration talks to the transportation department to learn more about road conditions and access to neighborhoods and streets that are more challenging during times of inclement weather.
- Amount of snow and ice accumulated.
- Whether snow/ice is continuing.
- Building conditions - Schools are checked to make sure electricity and heat are working properly.
- Parking lot and sidewalk conditions - Administrators talk to maintenance and custodial staff members who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks.
- Discussion with city and county officials about snow removal status for city and county roads.
- Discussion with other school districts.
WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
The superintendent makes the final decision to keep schools open or close school during inclement weather. The decision is made based on the factors mentioned above.
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
If the district plans to close schools for the day due to inclement weather, the decision is made by 6 a.m.
HOW DO WE CONTACT PARENTS?
If the District plans to close schools or limit bus service due to inclement weather, the announcement is immediately posted on the front page of the District website and on the official District social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter. Local news outlets are notified immediately, but parents should be aware that the District does not have direct control over how quickly or accurately closings are reported by the media. If a decision is made the evening before, parents and staff will receive a phone call from our messaging service, School Messenger, as soon as possible to alert them of the next day’s school closing or changes to bus service. If a decision is made in the early morning hours, parents and staff members will receive phone calls starting at 6 a.m., though the decision may be posted prior to 6 a.m. In the case of an early dismissal due to weather, a decision will be made no later than 11 a.m. and communicated to parents as soon as possible using the same methods as stated above. Please consider the District website as the official announcement.
If school is not in session, all athletic and extra-curricular activities events including practices may be cancelled. The only exception involves clubs or teams participating in post-season events.
How to determine if there is too much snow or too cold?
The following road conditions are considered when determining to keep schools open or to close. They are found in priority order:
1. Main streets in the school district used for bus routes and stops.
2. State highways or interstate highways in the school district used for bus routes and/or stops.
3. Access to the bus garage for bus fleet staging, fueling or maintenance.
4. Parking lots of school buildings.
5. Entrances and sidewalks to each school building.
6. Side streets, cul-de-sacs, or streets where bus routes or stops are not located.
7. State highways or interstates out of the district not used for bus routes.
Closing School Due to Excessive Cold:
Wind Chill 0 to -20 School open
Wind Chill -21 to -32 School may be open
Wind Chill Under -32 School will close