District 36 Emergency Closing & E-Learning Procedures

  • Deciding when to close school

    The District considers many factors when considering whether to close school due to weather conditions such as heavy snow or extreme cold. The safety of our students and staff is our utmost priority. Travel conditions on area roads as well as weather forecasts for conditions that may develop during school hours are considered. In cases of extreme cold, we also monitor weather reports for safety and consult with our transportation providers about whether they will be able to run bus routes to school. Finally, we consult with New Trier Township superintendents and strive to make a collaborative decision on closures when possible.

    Communicating with families

    We communicate closure information via Blackboard. This involves a phone call, email, and text (for those who have opted in) and on our website. If schools must be closed, every effort will be made to finalize the decision by 6 a.m. You can also access this website: https://www.emergencyclosingcenter.com/ to review school closures for the entire region. 

    Making up school closure days

    On our annual school calendars we indicate June dates intended to make up for Emergency School Closure days. We ask families to remember these dates when planning summer travel.

    E-Learning Day Statement

    Winnetka District 36 has determined e-learning days are not the best option.

    The Illinois State Board of Education has an updated policy which now allows districts to count a snow day as a school day if students are taught remotely via technology. Since last year, the state has issued more stringent requirements for these days, including that students must receive at least five hours’ worth of documented instruction. In reviewing the possibility of implementing a remote e-learning day for the 2019-20 school year, the following concerns have arisen:

    • The 5-hour requirement will be particularly challenging for our (elementary) younger students.
    • It will be very difficult to meet the needs and accommodations of students with IEPs and 504 plans (special education students).
    • The supervision required may be a hardship on parents. 
    • Planning for the e-learning day will require a great deal of time and professional development which would not be the most effective use of District limited resources.

    Given the challenges of providing meaningful instruction when the timing of these days is unpredictable and to avoid additional student stress, The Winnetka Public Schools District 36 has decided e-learning days are not the best option at this time.