Dear Students, Families, and Community Members,
You may wonder how the decision to close school is made. When there are poor weather conditions, there are many people I talk with and sources of information I check before making a decision to start school late, dismiss school early, or cancel school for the day.
First, I watch the weather websites closely and text message in a group with the other superintendents in Vermilion County regarding weather and road conditions. I talk with Mark Eighner, our business manager, and Wade Clemmons, our buildings and grounds supervisor to hear their thoughts. Many times we will text or talk by 5:00 a.m. to share information about road conditions based upon our early morning drives. Often, Mark will talk with the road commissioners. I will sometimes receive messages from staff members with information about the conditions. After working with others and gathering as much information as possible, I then feel able to make the best decision I can for the safety of our students and staff.
After the decision is made, I send a message out to all families and staff members as a recorded voice call, text message, website post, Facebook post, and Twitter post. I send an email to the media and post a message in our district-wide Google Classroom for staff. I text Rosellen Cornelius, the administrative secretary for my office, and she notifies a list of media outlets and puts the message on the electronic sign outside of our school. I also then text all School Board Members.
As you can see, there are many people working together to gather information about the weather conditions to inform this decision and then notify families, staff members, and the community, if we do have a change in schedule. Sometimes we are in session on a day when the temperatures are very cold but not at the level where we need to cancel school. In that case, our district is flexible in excusing absences if parents feel that the weather conditions are not appropriate for their child.
If you have a question about the school schedule or weather-related decisions, please call, email, or stop by our school district office.
Suzi Hesser, Superintendent