Emergency School Closing Policy for Staff

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 school in bad weather by careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as: 

  • Information on road conditions.  We must give careful consideration to the main arteries leading to the Center.
  • 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 Staff Notified?

In most cases, your Coordinator or Lead Teacher will initiate a calling system to alert you.  Before leaving your home on what seems to be a bad weather day, you should check to see if the school is closed. 

There are several other 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 the school is made at 5:30 a.m. or earlier so we can notify parents, staff, catering, 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.

Will we be paid for snow days?

  • All scheduled staff will be paid for their scheduled hours.
  • All staff having a prescheduled vacation, personal or sick day will not be given a make up day.  They would be treated as if school were in session.  
  • The school plans for and incurs the expense for a substitute/floater for prescheduled days off.
  • Since staff are paid for their fully scheduled shift, there will be no compensation time granted if they need to work their full shift, even in the event of an early closing. 
  • If staff work reduced shifts due to early closing, they will not be expected to make up the additional hours.  
  • All split shift staff will be paid for their regularly scheduled shift regardless of early closing.  They will not be required to return to work should the school be closing early. 
  • Part time afternoon staff will be paid for their scheduled hours and not asked to report to work if school is closing early. 
  • If the school is open and staff determine that they are not able to report to work, they will be required to use a personal or vacation day. 

Are Snow Days Built into the Calendar?

The school does NOT build snow days into the calendar.  The calendar at Nielsen goes year round and does not allow for make up days.

Other Information

Although our school does its best in this process, we know that often no perfect decision is possible.  We hope this explanation helps everyone understand the process we go through to make the best decision for all concerned.