• Emergency School Closings



      Extreme Winter Weather

      • Emergency Closing - Extreme Winter Weather

        District 33 schools occasionally close during extreme winter weather. Late-night snow or ice storms are the most likely reasons for schools closing. However, power outages or heating system failures may also be factors. When possible, the administration makes every attempt to determine and communicate school closings by the evening before the affected day or by 5:30 AM on the affected day.

        The decision to close school is made after careful consideration of the best information available. Aside from carefully monitoring the weather forecast, the District 33 Administration will communicate with the following organizations when gathering information about potential or actual weather events:

        • West Chicago Police Department
        • Illinois Central Bus Company
        • District 33 Facilities and Grounds Department
        • Illinois Department of Transportation
        • Communication with local/surrounding school districts

        Typically, these conversations begin in the afternoon prior to the day of the expected extreme weather so that final decisions can be made, and the public can be notified as soon as possible. These conversations will include consideration of many weather-related issues affecting the ability to safely transport students and staff to school on time, including:

        • The ability of buses to start and/or stay running along the routes. In cold weather, the diesel fuel in buses can gel and cause engines to stop running while en route.
        • The ability of buses to navigate the snowy streets
        • If the time of day/evening of the snowfall provides insight into how quickly the streets can be cleared in relation to our key transportation timelines
        • If staff can make it to work safely
        • If the temperatures are dangerously low for those standing at bus stops
        • If the temperatures are expected to stay dangerously low for an extended period of time (as opposed to a brief dip into the very low temps)
        • If there are consistent, long-term, clear forecasts indicating a high degree of probability of a severe storm.
        • Concerns about children who do not have adequate supervision at home and parents who will have difficulties making arrangements with work.

        District 33 will make every attempt to post school closing information on this website. Information will also be shared in the following ways:

        • Voice, email, and text messages will be made through Blackboard. Do not call your school. If your phone number/email address has changed since you registered your child for school, please give your new contact information to your school secretary, so our records can be updated.
        • A message is placed on the District 33 Facebook page
        • Notification will be made to the Emergency Closing Center (ECC).
        • To conduct a status search on the ECC website, go to www.emergencyclosingcenter.com and enter the Facility Name: "West Chicago Dist 33" and the City: "West Chicago".

        PLEASE NOTE: If the District decides NOT to close school, parents may choose to keep their child home if they feel there is a safety issue due to excessive cold or snow. Be sure to call your school to let them know your child is home.

        Recess Guidelines: Please send your child to school dressed appropriately for cold weather. Students will be outside before school and at recess time if the temperature or wind chill is at 10 degrees or above. Please provide a doctor’s note to your school if your child has restrictions on being outside in cold weather.

      Extreme Heat

      • Emergency Closing - Extreme Heat


        Relief in the classrooms/buildings:

        If outside temperatures or heat index values exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, principals and staff will implement the following procedures:

        • Limit or restrict physical exertion, recess, and PE activities.
        • Limit or restrict time spent outside in the sun. 

        Emergency School Closing

        In the event of extreme heat conditions, the district will call a “Heat Day”, close all school buildings and implement a remote learning schedule. This decision will be made as early as possible, typically by 9:00 PM the night before, to allow parents to plan for childcare. In addition to the heat factors, other safety considerations include:

        • Impact on parent work schedules and child care.
        • Putting some children at risk of exposure to the heat at home, or leaving them unsupervised.

        To notify you of school closings:

        • Voice, email, and text messages will be sent through Blackboard, the district mass notification system. Do not call your school. If your phone number/email address has changed since you registered your child for school, please give your new contact information to your school secretary, so our records can be updated.
        • A message will be posted on the District 33 website.
        • A message is placed on District social media channels.

        Phone/email messages will ONLY be made IF schools are CLOSED.