Dear River Trails Families,
As we approach winter and the temperature turns colder, I would like to update you on some of the factors that contribute to closing school in the event of inclement weather and when you can expect to be notified. You will also find information on eLearning, which may take place in the event of inclement weather.
Our district regularly collaborates with neighboring districts to ensure weather-related decisions are made wisely and in a timely manner. This is so we can provide clear communication and establish a procedure that will prioritize the safety of our students and staff.
- Schools will be closed if there is a forecasted sustained wind chill of -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, or when the actual temperature is a sustained -15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder between the travel times of 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and/or 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. We will use forecasts provided by the National Weather Service.
- For snow, ice or other weather-related closings, we will monitor the current conditions, the forecasted conditions during the travel times listed above, the ability of our staff to plow parking lots and sidewalks, as well as the ability of local municipalities to plow and make streets passable. We will also be in contact with our transportation company to assess their ability to safely run buses. In these situations, our district will also be in contact with our neighboring districts, our local and state officials, and meteorologists in order to make the most appropriate decision with the facts known at the respective time.
- If our schools will be closed, we will make the determination and notification by 5:30 a.m. on the day of the closing, knowing that you may need to arrange for childcare or further adjust your schedule. If we are able to make the determination of school closure the night before - meaning the forecast undoubtedly warrants closure - we will attempt to notify you prior to 9:30 p.m.
- If a decision to close our schools is reached after 9:30 p.m. the night before, we will wait until the morning to send a telephone notification. In all instances, we will update our website (rtsd26.org) and social media accounts as soon as a determination is made, regardless of the time of day.
- When schools are closed due to inclement weather, all extracurricular activities and school meetings are canceled. The one exception is Board of Education meetings.
- If parents or guardians have concerns about their child safely traveling to and from school, the Illinois School Code, in addition to school policy, allows parents to call their student(s) out of school in the event that the district keeps schools open.
Our district has an approved eLearning plan, which means we can host school virtually on an inclement weather day if the situations allow. It is our intention to use this option as much as possible to avoid extending the school year should we need to close.
Please take a moment to review RTSD26’s eLearning procedures for your child’s grade level.
For the most up-to-date information regarding school closures, please refer to our website at rtsd26.org, or our social media accounts on Facebook (facebook.com/RTSD26) and Twitter (@RiverTrailsD26). These accounts will be updated in real time as a decision is made.
The health and safety of students, staff and district families is a top priority. If you have any questions about these details, please feel free to contact me or your child’s school.
Dr. Jodi Megerle