Monday, November 30, 2015

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School Closing Guidelines

School Closing Guidelines
Rock Island-Milan School District No. 41

The Rock Island-Milan School District No. 41 strives to keep schools open for students during the year. In times of inclement weather (most likely snow, ice or extreme cold) the decision to open or close schools is based on current and anticipated weather and road conditions that will affect families during school hours.

The decision to close school is based on a number of variables:

  • Actual and projected snowfall and icing.
  • Assessment of city street and road conditions.
  • Extreme cold conditions.

At any time, if a parent wants to pick up their child(ren) from school due to impending bad weather, please do so. Student safety is a priority, and the school buildings understand that parents have unique circumstances at times. Just give the building principal a call. School phone numbers >>

Decision process:

  • 10:00 p.m. Watch local evening weather for prediction of storm track, timing, duration and predicted precipitation.
  • 2:00 a.m. Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds travels to all schools to determine the ability to clear parking lots and sidewalks prior to the start of the school day. He works with the snow removal contractor to prioritize locations.
  • 4:00 a.m. Contact is made with the City Public Works Department to determine their ability to maintain safe passage on main thoroughfares and in front of schools. An updated prediction of weather is received from them.
  • 4:00 a.m. Superintendent and Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds check road conditions throughout the District. They communicate about conditions encountered, predicted weather, and progress on removal of snow from parking lots and sidewalks.
  • 5:00 a.m. Receive most recent weather update from media sources. Contact City Public Works for update on road conditions and their prediction on keeping the roads passable.
  • 5:00 a.m. Contact Moline/East Moline/United Township Superintendents to confer on conditions and interpret impending weather prior to a decision being made.
  • 5:30 a.m. Final contacts with Public Works, Mass Transit, Bus Contractor, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds, and review of weather forecast. Contact Superintendents to make final decision.
  • 5:45 a.m. If decision is to close school: notify media outlets, place announcement on website and use Emergency Notification Phone System (robo-call) to contact staff, parents and guardians.

During bad weather, parents will be informed of the decision to close school through several channels:

  • Emergency Phone Notification System (call will be sent by 6:00 a.m.)
  • A note will be posted on the district website
  • On Twitter:
  • On Facebook:
  • Local media outlets
    Television stations:
    Radio Stations-AM: KJOC-AM 1170, WOC-AM 1240
    Radio Stations-FM: WVIK-FM 90.3, KALA 94.5, KMXG-FM 96.1, WXLP-FM 96.9, WHTS-FM 98.9, KBOB-FM 99.7, KUUL-FM 101.3, WLLR-FM 103.7, KCQQ-FM 106.5, KORB & WKEI.

Parents Make the Final Decision
The parent has the final decision. If you decide to keep your child(ren) home due to the weather, contact the staff at your school’s office and make them aware of your decision.

These absences are excused and all work may be made up for full credit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do you stay open when the Iowa and surrounding Illinois districts close?

Unlike the Iowa districts and neighboring Illinois districts, Rock Island-Milan, being a mostly urban area, does not have the same issues with transporting students on rural highways nor more remote areas where high winds and drifting snow can make roads impassable.

You are only keeping school open because of money.

Funding from the State of Illinois is based on average daily attendance of the best three months of the school year. Because of the weather, the winter months are seldom used in these calculations.

My child will be punished if they do not come to school on these days.

If a parent/guardian calls in the absence to the child’s school, the absence is considered “excused” and all work is accepted for full credit.

Like most other school districts in Illinois, the majority of our parents work outside the home and have limited options for child care when school is canceled. As much as possible, we try to stay open to give families a choice. When school is closed, some parents must decide whether to:

• Stay home and lose the day’s wages (if they are an hourly worker), if permitted by the employer,
• Take a personal day
• Take a vacation day

Does this mean that schools will always be open regardless of the weather?

No, student safety is our first consideration and there have been a number of times in the past when school was cancelled due to roads that become impassable or as a result of excessively cold, icy or snowy conditions.