District 58 shares emergency closing procedures and winter weather tips

If inclement winter weather prompts District 58 to cancel school, the District will notify parents and staff as soon as possible using a variety of communication tools. Please note, extreme weather is very unpredictable, and the decision to close schools is typically not able to be made until the morning of the event. District 58 will only send a message if schools will be closed. Otherwise, the day will proceed as usual.

How does District 58 communicate emergency closure information?
When a decision is made to close school due to inclement weather, the District will send an automated voice and email message to all parents and staff via the SchoolMessenger notification system. The system will also send a text message to parents and staff who have registered to receive texts. Sign up to receive District 58 text messages by texting YES to 68453 using a phone number that is on file with District 58. Opt out at any time by texting STOP to the same number. 

District 58 also posts school closure information on its website, Facebook page, Twitter page and on the District’s answering machine at 630-719-5800. The District notifies major news radio and network television stations about closures and posts closure information at www.emergencyclosings.com.

How does District 58 decide whether to cancel school?
District 58’s superintendent consults with a variety of resources — weather forecasts, neighboring superintendents, the bus company and the District’s buildings and grounds teams — to make an informed decision. The decision is based on many factors.

  • Building conditions: Do the buildings have power, light and heat?
  • Site conditions: Is the parking lot plowed? Can buses get in and turn around? Can parents drop off students? Are the exit doors free of snow?
  • Bus operations: Can the bus drivers get to the bus company? Do the buses start? Do the drivers feel comfortable driving?
  • Road conditions: Are the roads continually plowed and is traffic moving?
  • Air temperature: How cold is it? What is the wind chill? Can children safely walk to school? District 58 will likely close school during conditions when frostbite may occur after approximately 20 minutes of exposure.  Please refer to the District’s Wind Chill Chart and the NOAA Wind Chill Chart.

If the answer is yes to the first four questions, and if the forecast temperature/wind speed is above the threshold in the wind chill chart, District 58 will most likely keep schools open.

Student safety is District 58’s top priority, but the District also understands that canceling school is inconvenient for students, teachers and parents. The superintendent will make the decision as soon as safely possible.

An additional note on dangerously cold temperatures
District 58 thanks its Buildings and Grounds staff for their dedicated, ongoing efforts to clear snow and ice from schools. Unfortunately, de-icing chemicals lose effectiveness in extremely cold temperatures, and some pavement areas may still be slick. Please use extra caution when traversing on any pavement surface, such as roads, parking lots and sidewalks, during extremely cold weather events.

Get ready for winter with these safety tips and reminders:

  • In Downers Grove, parking on streets and in public parking lots is prohibited between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. when 3 or more inches of snow have fallen.
  • It is against Downers Grove ordinance to shovel, place or blow snow or ice onto the street, sidewalk or any right-of-way.
  • Please be a good neighbor and shovel your sidewalk and any nearby fire hydrants, if you are able.
  • Avoid driving during snow events, but if you must go out, keep water and blankets or an extra coat in your car for warmth, and keep the gas tank full.
  • Make sure your vehicle has adequate tire tread to avoid getting stuck.
  • Keep children from playing in snow banks along the road. It’s enticing–because the large piles of snow seem like a giant fort–but very dangerous; children may tumble onto the road in front of cars or snow plows.
  • Place a snow shovel in your trunk. You never know when you might need one during your travels.
  • Snow shoveling secrets! When shoveling at the end of your driveway, be sure to shovel snow to your right (when facing the street). As the plow passes, it will carry the snow away from your driveway.