Colder weather and the daily decisions regarding school attendance due to weather concerns will be here before we know it. This page is intended to help parents better understand the behind-the-scenes process that occurs each day such a decision must be made.
1. The district puts the safety of students first. A determination is made each morning regarding whether buses can run safely. The Superintendent and Transportation Director communicate early regarding road conditions. If it is determined that buses cannot run with reasonable safety, then school will not be in session that day.
2. The district references the National Weather Service’s Windchill Chart (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill.shtml) as an aid only in making determinations regarding attendance at school. Please be aware that is only one element of several in making a determination as to whether school should be in session.
3. The district reviews forecasts in order to help make determinations. At times it may appear that weather is imminent, whether from a forecast or weather radar, and the district must act on that information, whether the expected/forecasted weather event actually happens or not.
4. The district also consults with neighboring districts. However, weather from one district to the next is rarely the same, let alone weather from Minonk to Toluca to Wenona. Snow amounts and whether there is snow, ice, or nothing sometimes varies greatly with just a few miles distance. In our district that is 20 miles long north to south, for example, a weather event in Toluca may not have any impact on Minonk.As a result of our size and weather vagaries, it is entirely possible for many districts in our area to be out of school and Fieldcrest to be in school, or vice versa, depending on a number of factors.
5. The district must also consider whether early dismissal during hot weather is appropriate. Our buildings, in large part, are not air conditioned, and temperatures in some areas of the buildings can soar on hot days. Determinations will be made based on conditions in our buildings as they become available.
6. The State of Illinois now allows the district to make determinations the night prior if enough information is known to call school. Therefore, late calls may occur the night before a day school is called, or early the morning of that day. The district strives to make the calls by no later than 6:00 am of the day school is called, but late weather arrivals may make this impossible in some cases. Messages will be sent via the Lumen phone/email system, Facebook, Twitter, and the list of radio and TV stations noted in the student handbook.
7. Parents should have contingency plans in place in case of an early dismissal or a call of no school. The district will do everything it can to provide at least a hour warning, but having pre-planned emergency persons for pickup and care of your children is crucial.