Letter from Dr. Wade: How We Handle Weather-Related School Closings

Letter from Dr. Wade: How We Handle Weather-Related School Closings

NOTE: The following text is Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade's most recent letter to the District 401 community. To download a PDF copy in English and Spanish, click here. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Dear Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members,

I know it is hard to believe with our recent warm weather trend, but as we turn the calendar to December, we do so with the recognition that the snow and frigid temperatures of winter will soon be upon us, bringing with them the potential for school closings.

The District understands that the decision to remain open or to close due to poor weather has a big impact upon our families. We also recognize that our students are best served academically and socially by being in school and that closures often are the cause of significant hardship for families forced to make last-minute childcare arrangements.

I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the safety of our students is our first priority and a responsibility that we take very seriously. The decision whether or not to close during periods of inclement weather is based upon a careful analysis of all relevant factors. Generally speaking, if we are able to get our buses out on the street and safely transport students, our schools will be open to receive them. That being said, there are occasions when, due to extreme conditions, the safety interests of our students, especially those walking to school, are best served by closing the schools.

In the event schools are closed due to extreme weather or other emergencies, families will be contacted by District 401's automated phone calling system. School closing information will also be announced on local television and radio news programs and will be posted on the District Homepage (www.epcusd401.org) and at www.emergencyclosingcenter.com.

Although the decision to remain open or to close is made with the best of intentions, it is an imperfect system due to the unpredictability of the weather and the individual circumstances of each of our families. Please know that any time there is severe weather and our schools are open, yet you do not feel the conditions are safe enough for your child to be out, we respect your decision to keep him/her at home. We appreciate your support in making certain all of our students get to school safely on the cold wintery days that, presumably, will be here soon.


Dr. Nicolas D. Wade
Superintendent of Schools

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