Understanding the Superintendency: Snow/Cold Day Process

I am returning to my blog to begin a periodic narrative of what a superintendent actually does and some of the decision making that goes into this role. Since we are already into snow season here is a quick description of what goes into calling off school for cold or snow in my role.

  • It usually begins with a series of conference calls in the day or days before a potential emergency weather event  with DuPage County and the Office of Emergency Management. At the same time, I am discussing what we are learning with our local elementary school districts and other high school districts in DuPage County. There are several calls or emails between these groups and this continues throughout the day leading up to an emergency event. We follow our processes outlined on the District’s Emergency Closing Information page
  • If we can make a call the night before, we try to before 9PM. Otherwise superintendents across DuPage County are monitoring the situation all night. We are in communication with local government and emergency responders during this time to understand road conditions. We keep a close eye on weather reports from the National Weather Service
  • Conference calls begin at 4am with local elementary superintendents. I then report what we are thinking to the other DuPage area superintendents at 4:30am. We then have another call with local elementary superintendents and decide on staying open or closed for the day. We are all in, or all out, together as a set of District 99 area schools. We make the decision collaboratively.
  • When deciding to cancel, safety is my top concern. We have to balance this against the fact that our school offers many students 2 meals a day, a safe place to be, and the support of our caring staff. 
  • If we are closed, notifications start going out at 5am.. You’ll receive multiple messages and it will be posted on the websites and social media as well.
  • In the event of a School Closing, don’t come to work unless you are an employee involved in snow removal. If called, follow the expectations for e-learning days.
  • Typically, if the school is closed all evening activities will be canceled as well. However, we may have some unusual situations where we may authorize events in the evening, depending on conditions. Athletic or Activity Directors will be in contact with coaches or sponsors in the rare condition that occurs.


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