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Emergency School Closings
Emergency School Closings
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Emergency School Closing Information


As we enter the winter months, River Trails School District 26 would like to update you on some of the factors that contribute to closing school in the event of a weather-related closing and when you can expect to be notified. We have taken your feedback into consideration and thought it productive to share this information with you in advance of any occurrence of severe weather.


The District has been engaged in collaborative and substantive discussions with our surrounding school districts and   meteorologists. The District is committed to a process that ensures decisions are made wisely and in a timely fashion regarding the safety and well-being of our entire school community.


The District will follow these general guidelines when closing schools for winter-related closings:


  • Schools will be closed if there is a forecasted sustained wind chill of -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, or when the actual temperature is a sustained -15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder between the travel times of 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and/or 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The District will use forecasts provided by the National Weather Service.

  • For snow, ice, or other weather-related closings, the District will monitor the current conditions, the forecasted conditions between the travel times listed above, the ability of our staff to plow parking lots and sidewalks, as well as the ability of local municipalities to plow and make streets passable. The District will also be in contact with its transportation carriers to assess their ability to safely run buses. In these situations, the District will be in contact with local and State officials, along with meteorologists in order to make the most appropriate decision with the facts known at that respective time.

  • If school will be closed, the District will make the notification by 5:30 a.m. the day of the closing knowing that you may need to arrange for childcare or other schedule changes. If the District is able to make the determination the night before to close school – meaning the forecast undoubtedly warrants closure – the District will attempt to notify you between 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

  • Typically, the District does not send out an automatic phone notice after 9:30 p.m., as the system can sometimes take up to an hour or so to complete all calls. The District will update its website, social media accounts (www.facebook.com/RTSD26 and twitter: @RiverTrailsD26), and the Emergency Closing Center Website (www.emergencyclosingcenter.com) as soon as a decision has been made. However, in the event the decision to close school is made after 9:30 p.m., the District will wait and send out automatic phone notice by 5:30 a.m. the following morning.

  • In the event of severe weather, information regarding afternoon and evening co-curricular activities, athletics and community education classes will be updated by 1:00 p.m. or whenever practicable on the District website at www.rtsd26.org.

  • The District will follow the same procedures as noted above in the event of a weather related late start.

  • School Code, and District policy, allows parents to call their student out as excused in the event that the district keeps schools open and the family has concerns about the student safely traveling to or from school.

As always, the safety and security of our students and staff remains a top priority of our District, as they are for you as well.    Thank you for your support and consideration in this matter.