Sunset Ridge

School District 29

EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSINGS
Our District understands that the decision to open or close schools during inclement weather has a big effect on families. We also understand that our students are better served, both academically and socially, by being in school whenever possible. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority in making a decision to keep schools open or close schools in bad weather.

HOW DO WE MAKE OUR DECISION?
Please understand that we make the decision to open or close the schools during inclement weather based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as:
  • Information on road conditions from the Northfield Police Department and from our facilities and grounds department
  • Amount of snow and ice accumulated
  • Whether snow/ice is continuing
  • Building conditions (such as whether we have electricity and heat)
  • Parking lot conditions
  • Temperature and wind chill
  • Weather predictions - We prefer not making our decision based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate. However, sometimes this is unavoidable
  • What other school districts are doing - We make our decision in cooperation with other New Trier Township elementary districts and New Trier High School 

WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
The Superintendent of Schools or designee makes the final decision, based on the above factors. The decision to close the schools will generally be made by 6:00 a.m. or earlier.

NOTIFICATION 
There are several ways to find out if school is closed (or open on what seems like a bad weather day).
  • Listen for your Blackboard Connect call between 5:45 a.m. and 6:15 a.m.
  • Visit the Sunset Ridge website: www.sunsetridge29.net where the information will be posted on the home page
  • Visit www.EmergencyClosings.com
  • Tune into CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, Fox, CLTV
  • Listen to local radio: WGN (720-AM) and WBBM (780-AM)
  • Call the District's main office at (847) 881-9400 for a recorded message

WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
The decision to close school is generally made by 6:00 a.m.or earlier. Notification will be posted on our website and Emergency Closing website as soon as the decision has been made. Our goal is to place Blackboard Connect calls between 5:45 and 6:15.

WILL WE CLOSE SCHOOL IF CONDITIONS WORSEN DURING THE DAY?
Keep in mind that even if weather conditions worsen we cannot reverse our decision in the morning without endangering students. Once we make the decision to open the schools, many parents rely on it and leave for work. If we then send students right back home, many will return to empty houses. Parents are always free to keep their children home or pick them up early if they so choose.

INFORMATION ABOUT BLACKBOARD CONNECT
Blackboard Connect is our automated phone messaging system. It is used in place of traditional "phone trees" to notify parents and staff of school closings, power outages, and other significant events. Everyone will receive the same recorded message within minutes.

To receive a message, you need only answer your telephone or cell phone, or have an answering machine or voice mail to record your incoming message. Calls will automatically be sent to the phone numbers you have previously provided the school. Please be sure that your child's school has all of your updated home and cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses. A message will also be sent to you via email. (Please note that phone numbers that have extensions will not receive messages.) Depending on how many numbers you have given us, you may receive up to four calls during emergencies.

DELAYED START
District 29 has seldom resorted to closing school due to weather conditions. In order to avoid closing school in all but the most severe weather conditions, the District may employ a "delayed start" practice whereby the school days will start later and possibly end later.  

The decision to close or use a delayed start will generally be made by 6:00 a.m. The delayed start will allow us to conduct school, avoid the problems of rescheduling a canceled day, and, most importantly, permit students and staff to travel to school in off-peak traffic or after the weather conditions have improved. The same notification procedures for emergency closing will also be employed for a delayed start.

ARE SNOW DAYS BUILT INTO THE CALENDAR?
Extra days are not built into the District calendar. Therefore, if the District closes due to weather, each day missed will be made up at the end of the school year in June.

A PARENT'S DECISION
Although the District does its best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision exists. If you do not feel it is safe for your child to attend school, we respect your right to keep your child at home.


If you have any questions, please call Dr. Ed Stange at 847-881-9456
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