Lake Zurich Community Unit School District

Emergency Closures & Delays

There are times when an emergency, such as severe weather conditions, heating or water problems, or a power failure may require closing one or all of the District schools. These decisions are never made lightly, and are the result of much discussion between various departments, including transportation, district personnel, and the superintendent.

Communications

School closings, delayed start and early dismissal due to inclement weather, or other emergencies, will be posted on this website, communicated to district parents/guardians via School Messenger, and reported to the Emergency Closing Center which broadcasts the information to local Chicago media outlets. Families will only receive notice if schools are closed, starting late or dismissing early. Keeping your contact information up to date is essential for receiving automated emergency messages. Please contact your child’s school if there is a change to contact information.

In addition, parents are advised to listen to their radio or check television stations for school closing information on days when closings might occur. You may also check the Emergency Closing Center website at www.emergencyclosings.com.

When the school district is closed due to weather related issues it includes those who attend parochial schools and out of district facilities. The premise being that if we feel it is dangerous to transport students in district, it would also be too dangerous to transport students outside of the district. All private facilities know this and do not ever penalize our students. They consider it an excused absence.

Extreme Weather Criteria for Altering/Closing School

When we face predictions of excessive snowfall, our options are either to cancel school completely or to call for a Delayed Start schedule where we start the school day two hours later than normal. The foremost concern is whether we can make it possible for students and staff to get to school safely and for school to operate safely. We have staff in the district evaluating our schools and the roads throughout the night or as early as 4 a.m. Cancelling school certainly ensures safety, but it does mean extending the school year by another day. When we face predictions of extreme cold, our options for a Delayed Start versus cancellation are also dependent upon the forecast and upon whether we can make it possible for students and staff to get to school safely and for school to operate safely.

Although there are many factors taken into consideration, we do consult the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wind chill chart. Once temperatures with wind chill dip into the category of frostbite within 5-10 minutes during commuting hours we are likely to close. We do take into consideration other factors, including how surrounding schools are responding. However, not all school districts have Delayed Start procedures in place and may have other factors they must consider, such as very lengthy busing distances.

We are well aware that we never please everyone when we are faced with extreme weather conditions that require cancelling school or changing our schedule. Please know that our primary consideration is always what is best for the safety and well-being of our students and staff.

Extreme Heat Procedures

Illinois State Board of Education Policy

The health and safety of children are of paramount importance to local school superintendents. Section 18-12, the School Code allows the use of interrupted School Days for "adverse weather conditions." As a reminder, with regard to extreme heat, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) allows for four options:

1. Amend the public school calendar to start school at a later date

2. Dismiss after 5-clock hours of instruction

  • Instructional time is maximized
  • Advance notice will be provided to allow parents to arrange for childcare
  • School day does not have to be made up

 3. Utilize an Emergency Day (no school for the entire district)

  • Advance notice will be provided
  • School day must be made up

 4.    Utilize an Interrupted Day (school may be dismissed after a minimum of one clock hour of instruction)

  • No advance notice; decision will be made during the school day
  • Minimal time for parents to arrange for childcare
  • ISBE’s current policy further states that if the announcement is made in advance(i.e., on the previous day) that school will be closing on any day or days after less than 5 clock hours because of heat, you must use an emergency day(s).  You cannot count that shortened day as a full-day of attendance under those circumstances.

District Action Plan

  • The weather forecast will be reviewed using multiple sources on both a daily and weekly basis. The final determination will be based upon the heat index as calculated by Weather.com  http://www.weather.com
  • The Chief School Business Official and the Director of Facilities will confer with the Superintendent to determine an appropriate plan of action.
    • The goal is to plan as far in advance as possible.
    • The campuses with air conditioning will remain in session for the full day: Isaac Fox, Middle School South, Middle School North, Spencer Loomis, and the High School.

CUSD95 Excessive Heat Procedures (Day 1)

  • If the heat index (combination of heat + humidity) is 97 degrees or above as determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) the following Excessive Heat Procedures will be put into place for the District’s non-air conditioned buildings (May Whitney, Sarah Adams, Seth Paine).
    • Keep overhead lights to a minimum if possible.
    • All available fans will be deployed to classrooms.
    • All classrooms will be rotated the designated cooling areas (air conditioned) in each building throughout the day.
    • Teachers will limit all physical activity in the classroom and in PE classes.
    • Students will be granted frequent water breaks and will be allowed to carry their own water bottles.
    • School nurses and staff will watch for any warning signs of heat distress.
  • Please refer to chart from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/index.shtml#heatindex

CUSD95 Excessive Heat Procedures (Day 2)

  • If the predicted heat index is 97 degrees or above for the day immediately following the first day of 97 degrees or above heat index, an Early Dismissal Schedule will be implemented for those schools without air conditioning (May Whitney, Sarah Adams, Seth Paine).
  • Parents, students and staff will be notified via School Messenger and the district website of the Early Dismissal by 9:00 p.m. the previous evening. 
  • The Excessive Heat Procedures above will be implemented while students are in attendance prior to the early dismissal. 

CUSD95 Excessive Heat Procedures (Day 3 and subsequent consecutive days of =/+ 97 degrees Heat index)

  • An Early Dismissal Schedule will be implemented for those schools without air conditioning (May Whitney, Sarah Adams, Seth Paine).
  • Parents, students, and staff will be notified via School Messenger and the district website of the Early Dismissal by 9:00 p.m. the previous evening. 
  • The Excessive Heat Procedures will be implemented while students are in attendance prior to the early dismissal. 

Staff Members

In the event school that the Early Dismissal Schedule is implemented, staff members at the non-air conditioned schools are expected to work a full contractual day, but are encouraged to locate to cool place within the building to work.

Athletic Extreme Heat Procedures

The Athletic Director/Principal will meet with coaches prior to the season to review warning signs of heat illness as outlined in the IHSA pamphlet Play It Safe in the Heat: http://www.ihsa.org/documents/fb/Policy%2013%20Brochure%20MQ.pdf

Coaches will review the warning signs of heat illness with their athletes prior to the start of each season.

Utilizing the Heat Index Chart provided by the NOAA National Weather Service, the Administrator in charge will implement the following procedures:

NOAA National Weather Service Heat Index

 

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/index.shtml#heatindex


A Heat Index of 100 degrees or more:

  • High School –outdoor practices and contests will be canceled.
  • Middle Schools/ Elementary Schools –practices and contests will be canceled with the exception of indoor/air conditioned activities. Early dismissal at one Middle School due to extreme heat will trigger cancelation of outdoor activities at both Middle Schools.

A Heat Index between 90 and 99 degrees:

  • Practices will be restricted as defined by building principal, athletic director, coaches, and trained health professionals. Mandatory water breaks will occur every 30 minutes during such conditions for all athletes/competitors.

Criteria for Outdoor Recess in Cold Weather

The elementary school principals will use the following criteria to determine whether or not outdoor recess will occur on cold weather days:

  • Across the district we use www.weather.com as the common weather reporting agency.  Enter the zip code for the school.
  • Temperature, with wind chill factored in, must be greater than zero degrees for outdoor recess to occur.
  • Other factors specific to each school such as ice on the path to the playground, etc., may influence the decision. 

What is Delayed Start?

The Delayed Start schedule may be initiated by the district to allow time for roads and school grounds to be cleared and for our staff to arrive at school. When a Delayed Start is called, district buses will arrive at your student’s bus stop two hours later than their regularly scheduled time. Students who walk or drive to school should arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to the delayed start time. Where applicable, class periods will be shortened to accommodate a shorter day, but dismissal times will not change. Food service will be provided as usual.

From the Parent/Student menus on the district or school website, please select "School Arrival, Dismissal, & Bell Schedules" to see the times for regular and alternate schedules.

What is Early Dismissal?

The Early Dismissal schedule may be initiated by the district if severe weather is moving into the area making travel at normal dismissal times difficult or unsafe. When the district calls for an Early Dismissal, school is dismissed exactly two hours earlier than the regular schedule.

From the Parent/Student menus on the district or school website, please select "School Arrival, Dismissal, & Bell Schedules" to see the times for regular and alternate schedules.

Special Education Out-of-District and Work Programs: A separate email will be sent to the parent/guardian of these students with instructions.

School Arrival, Dismissal, & Bell Schedules

From the Parent/Student menus on the district or school website, please select "School Arrival, Dismissal, & Bell Schedules" to see the times for regular and alternate schedules.