School Closing Information
SCHOOL CANCELLATIONS DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER
Winter is quickly closing in upon us and with that in mind it is helpful to understand the process of canceling school due to inclement weather. The decision to close school or to let out early is not an easy one as it involves a multitude of factors all of which have to be weighed and decided upon in a short period of time.
Unit 40 has three personnel assigned to check roads on winter mornings. These three people, the superintendent, the assistant superintendent, and a transportation worker all travel different routes in order to determine driving conditions. Road condition checks usually are done between 3 and 5:45 a.m. Keep in mind that Unit 40 covers over 127 square miles and weather conditions can be quite different in various parts of the district. Also included in the decision to close are weather forecasts, reports from law enforcement agencies and reports from township road commissioners. All of this information is considered in making the final decision. The actual decision must be made by 6 a.m. This time deadline allows for notification of bus drivers, food preparation personnel and the media
Every effort is made to make a good decision given the information at hand. Student and staff safety is the main focus. However, even under the best of circumstances weather can and will change. It is important for parents to have a plan established that insures the safety of their children. Kids that are released early from school need to have a warm, safe place to go. They should have specific instructions from mom and dad about what to do and who to contact. A parent-child communication system should be set up. Weather and road conditions are not always obvious from inside a building and working parents may not be aware that their child has been released for the day. The district will release children to go home early only if all indicators show a strong likelihood of the weather getting worse.
The school handbook lists the various media services that will be notified of closings. Please keep this information at hand and check the resources for the latest information. The district asks that you not contact the schools or the administrative office to see if school will be let out early or if it will be in session the next day. The schools have a minimal number of phone lines and they need to remain open so that the media can be notified and that available emergency services can be contacted.
The following Radio and TV stations are notified of weather-related school closings:
WAND TV - Decatur - Channel 17
WCIA TV - Champaign - Channel 3
WTWO TV - Terre Haute - Channel 2
WTHI TV - Terre Haute - Channel 10
WEIU Radio/TV - Charleston (PBS)
WIBI Radio/TV - Mt. Vernon
WKJT Radio (102.3 FM)
WXEF Radio (97.9 FM)
WCRC Radio (95.7 FM)
WCRA Radio (1090 AM)