Weather-Related Emergency Procedures

During the school year, there may be times when one or all of the schools are closed. In most cases, school closures are the result of weather-related conditions. Whenever a decision is made to close school or alter the school day, it is based on the general safety conditions for all students and staff. The District recognizes that conditions may vary for each family.

Parents and students should assume that classes are in session at the standard time unless otherwise notified.

Guidelines for School Closures

 Priority on Safety

During periods of inclement weather or in emergency situations, our priority is the safety and welfare of our students and staff. At the same time, we recognize that the closing of schools can be burdensome to families due to childcare and work schedules. We consider canceling school to be an exception, and we emphasize keeping our schools open. Daily school attendance is a crucial component for student success.  Some of the primary factors that are taken into account when making a decision include:

  • The safety and well-being of students and staff

  • Severity of the weather (extreme cold, flooding, etc.)

  • Timing of the weather

  • The ability of buses and cars to travel safely

  • The operable condition of our buildings


Making the Decision

The Superintendent of Schools determines when and if conditions at one or more schools warrant canceling or closing school buildings. This decision is typically made in collaboration with the District administration, other area superintendents, local village departments, the bus service provider, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District works collaboratively with Rich 227 and the other South Cook School Districts on school closings. Because we have many families whose students are enrolled within District 227 and District 163, we try to be consistent and to create the least amount of disruption to our families. This may not always occur, but please be assured it is a priority in our deliberations. If a weather related school building closure occurs, it will be our intent to run eLearning days instead of canceling school. We don't anticipate using our Emergency Days to make up missed school days as we have in the past.

Data Source: The National Weather Service (NWS at http://www.weather.gov/) will be the primary meteorological source to determine and declare weather conditions, such as snow forecasts, wind-chill advisory, or wind-chill warnings.

Notification to Our Parents

In the event of a school closing or other emergency, parents can expect to receive an automated phone call, e-mail, and a text. We ask that all parents help to make sure that their contact information is accurate and complete. Please notify your school secretary if there are changes to your email address or phone numbers.

School closure decisions will typically be made before 6:00 a.m. the day of closure. This allows weather conditions to be monitored overnight to avoid unnecessary closures. Closure decisions will only be made the night before if conditions are known with a high degree of certainty and warrant closure. Parents should establish contingency plans for possible closures throughout the school year regardless of the season.


Emergency and closing information is also available through the following sources:


General Information Regarding School Cancelation or School Building Closure

School may be canceled or schools may be closed due to weather conditions or other emergency conditions that create unsafe conditions. School may be canceled for all District 163 school facilities, or for an individual building, as necessary. In the event of a school closing:

  • All after-school activities and field trips will be canceled unless specifically announced by the school principal.

  • All student events will be canceled unless specifically announced by the school principal.

  • Athletic events and practices will be canceled unless specifically announced by the school principal.

  • Events that have contracts to use district facilities will be canceled unless announced by the school principal.

  • ELearning Day: this option may be employed if advanced notice of a school building closure occurs.

  • Early Dismissal: This option may also be utilized by our schools if weather conditions worsen during the day. If waiting until the end of the day to dismiss students makes it significantly less safe for our students and families, then early dismissal will be implemented.