Emergency School Closings

The amount of phone calls relating to weather will be reduced. Calls will be made as needed. “Heads up” or updating communication will primarily be through email, Facebook, or Twitter. Please check your email on a regular basis.

When it may be necessary to close schools or run emergency bus routes, the District will use the School Messenger System to place calls to home telephones, cell phone, and e-mail addresses as provided to the District. School Messenger is a school-to parent notification service that allows the District to make one phone call, record a detailed voice message, and send it immediately to all parents. It is very important that parents keep the school informed of any changes in their telephone number.

If it becomes necessary to run emergency bus snow routes in the rural areas, the emergency routing will be in effect in both morning and afternoon routes. Parents are urged to be at the emergency stop to pick up their children in the afternoon as drivers are instructed not to let children off unless they live close by or someone is there to pick them up.

If school is closed because of weather or other emergencies, the building will be closed and all school activities cancelled. Parents are urged to make arrangements with their children regarding early dismissal plans.

Emergency Bus Routes

Bad weather or poor road conditions may cause the use of emergency bus routes. A public announcement shall be made by School District 117. When snow routes are announced they are used all day or on both AM and PM routes. Parents are urged to be at the Emergency Bus Stops to pick up their children in the afternoon, as drivers are instructed not to let children off the bus unless they live close by, or unless someone is waiting to pick them up. Students will ride the same bus as normal. Routes or stops in town will be the same as normal.

Two Hour Late Start Option

The two hour late start option will be used whenever we have early morning weather issues that are predicted to “clear up”. For example, by delaying our buses two hours we hope to not have to cancel school completely for wind chill and light icing that will melt once the sun rises.

Here are some important points regarding this late start schedule:

  • All buses will start exactly two hours late.
  • All schools will end at the regular time.
  • There will not be any early morning Pre-K. All day Pre-K will start two hours late and afternoon Pre-K will operate as normal.
  • There will not be any daily buses for other events such as field trips or community visits.
  • Early Bird classes will be cancelled.
  • All other morning meetings will be cancelled (clubs, practices, etc.) including the morning Physical Therapy buses.

A late start day for emergency reasons is considered a complete school calendar day.

School Safety and Evacuation Plan

Student safety is the District's top priority. In addition to physical safety, the District is concerned with students' emotional well-being and will help students cope with an emergency or disaster and its aftermath. The District has plans for all four phases of emergency and disaster management:

  1. Preparedness - planning for an emergency or disaster event
  2. Response - planned response to an emergency or disaster event
  3. Recovery - the process of returning to normal operations
  4. Mitigation - Steps taken to minimize the effects of an emergency or disaster

Emergency responses will depend on the circumstances and may include lockdown or evacuation. During a lockdown, either for security or severe weather, no one may enter or leave the building until it is safe to do so.

For evacuation purposes, each school has at least one off-campus site where students and staff assemble to be accounted for and temporarily housed.

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