Emergency School Closing Policy

Our school understands that our decision to close the school in bad weather has serious effects on staff and families.  We recognize the importance of school being open to meet the needs of working families.  The safety of our students, families and staff is our top priority in deciding whether or not to keep the school open in bad weather.

How Do We Make Our Decision?

Please understand that we make the decision to open or close the schools in bad weather by careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as: 

  • Information on road conditions.  We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in our area.
  • Amount of snow and ice accumulated
  • Whether snow or ice is continuing
  • Building conditions (such as whether we have electricity and heat)
  • Parking Lot Conditions
  • Weather predictions
  • What other school districts and Centers are doing.  We consider school closings around us since many of our children have siblings in local schools and since school district decisions frequently provide a barometer for the seriousness of the prevailing conditions.
  • Availability of staff.  Many of our staff members live far from Nielsen and may not be able to make it to the Center, leaving classrooms without sufficient staff to maintain safe and legal ratios. 

Who Makes the Decision?

The Executive Director makes the decision based on the above factors and with recommendations from the Administrative Team.  

How Are Parents Notified?

There are several ways to find out if school is closed (or open on what seems like a bad weather day).

  • Tune in to Local radio:WGN (720 AM), WBBM (780 AM)
  • Tune in to local television:  CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, FOX and CLTV
  • Email:  www.EmergencyClosings.com Sign up for personalized E-mail notification of our school’s status.

When Is The Decision Made?

Usually, the decision to close, or delay the opening of school, is made by 5:30 a.m. or earlier so we can notify staff, radio, television and the emergency closing service. 

Will We Close School If Conditions Worsen?

If conditions worsen and become hazardous we may need to have an early closing.  It  would occur no later than 3 p.m. to avoid rush hour traffic and dark roads. The early closing will be posted with the Emergency Closing Center.  Parents will be informed, by a phone tree, if the decision is made after they drop off their child/children. A phone tree would only be used in the event of an early closing, not at any other time.

Are Snow Days Built Into the Calendar?

The Nielsen Center does NOT build snow days into the calendar.  We are a year round school. Therefore, if the school closes we are not able to make up days at the end of the school year in June. 

Other Information

Although the Center does its best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision is possible. If you do not feel as though it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best judgment on whether or not she/he should attend. We hope this explanation helps everyone understand the process we go through to make the best possible decision for everyone in our Center.