Superintendent Blog

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Follow along with our Superintendent of Schools, Theresa R. Rouse, Ed.D.

Severe Weather Decisions

Jan 25, 2019

In times of severe weather, there are several criteria that must be examined to make decisions about school closure.  Student and staff safety are our number one priority.

I am charged with making the final decision to keep schools open or close school during inclement weather by 5:00 am (when possible) based on these factors:

  • Weather service information - the district reviews the National Weather Service for up-to-date information on weather conditions and forecasts, specific to Joliet.
  • Bus company information - district office administration talk to the bus companies regarding road and fleet conditions during times of inclement weather.
  • Amount of snow/ice accumulated/forecasted.
  • 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 who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks.
  • Administration drives the district to check road conditions.
  • Temperature and wind chill guidelines.
  • Safety of our students and employees
  • Discussions with neighboring school districts.

Parents are reminded to dress students appropriately for the weather conditions, especially students who walk to school or ride the bus.  While the process used is comprehensive, we understand that parents may not agree with the district's decision to close school or to keep school open.  If weather conditions are severe, parents have the option of keeping their child at home.  In this case, the absence would be considered an excused absence.

If it is determined that school will be closed, notification is sent to all stakeholders within minutes of the decision.  Notifications to families and staff are sent via automated telephone message, text message, email, social media (Facebook and Twitter); Joliet and Chicago media outlets including radio, television, and newspapers; as well as posting to the district website and the district app.  Please be sure your contact information is up-to-date at all times to ensure you receive any important notifications from the district.

If you have any questions or comments, please click the "Let's Talk" button 

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