Winter Weather Guidelines
Moline-Coal Valley School District strives to keep schools open for students during the academic year. In times of inclement weather (most specifically snow or ice storms), the decision to open or close schools is based primarily on current and anticipated weather and road conditions that will affect families during school hours. The district now also has the option to call for a Remote Learning Day in lieu of a traditional snow day. This allows the day to count as a day of learning and does not have to be made up at the end of the school year as traditional snow days do.
Local superintendents and staff study weather conditions in our districts during the early morning hours to determine if road conditions will allow for reasonable travel by parents and students. Regardless of the decision, we do realize that it may not be the most appropriate for every family. If you, as the parent or guardian, should decide to keep your child home due to the inclement weather, please contact the staff at your school’s office and make them aware of your decision. Phone numbers may be found on each school’s webpage. Also, discourage teenagers from driving in bad weather conditions, take them yourself, or offer alternative transportation. These absences are excused and all work may be made up for full credit.
In making the decision to close or keep schools open, or to call for a Remote Learning Day, the District uses the following guidelines:
1. If possible, traditional school days/emergency closings or Remote Learning Days, will be announced the night prior to the day school will be closed. If this is not possible, the announcement will be made the following morning.
2. At 4:30 a.m. the superintendents in the Quad Cities region usually listen to updated weather reports and road conditions in their school districts. Keep in mind, while regional districts strive to make similar decisions regarding school closures, each district ultimately makes the best decision for their unique district circumstances.
3. By 6 a.m., a decision is reached on whether or not schools should be closed, and if a remote learning day could be used instead of a traditional snow/emergency day. If the decision is to close schools, it will be announced on these communication channels:
~Parent Notification System – Skylert (The goal is to send the call as close to 6 am as possible)
~School District website: www.molineschools.org
~Local media television and radio stations
~Remind text messaging system
Early dismissal due to inclement weather
As you may know, once children arrive at school, it has been the practice in the Moline-Coal Valley district not to send children home prior to the regular dismissal time because of the possibility of sending a child to an unoccupied house. However, rare exceptions may necessitate sending students home before the regular dismissal time. This also would be announced on the communication channels listed above.
Please make certain students have a safe and supervised place to go if an early dismissal occurs.
Outdoor weather conditions
If extreme cold winter weather conditions are present during the school day, district administrators refer to the National Weather Service’s Wind Chill factor to determine whether or not school will be in session.
If the wind chill crosses to a warning, then school will be cancelled or a Remote Learning Day will be called. If the wind chill is predicted to be an advisory, school will be open.
The criteria for issuing a wind chill advisory and warning (as issued locally by the National Weather Service):
Wind Chill Warning – when wind chills of -30F or below are expected
Wind Chill Advisory – when wind chills of -20 to -29F are expected
It is the District’s policy that if the temperature is 10 degrees or lower (including wind chill), students will be kept indoors for recess.
How Parents Can Help
Please make sure your phone number and contact information is accurate and updated in Skyward to ensure that you will receive a call and email. The Parent Notification System uses the information in the student database and is synced daily. Also, be sure to download the Remind app and make sure that your notifications are turned on.
We hope this explanation helps you understand how the Administration makes decisions regarding weather-related school closings. If you have any questions, please contact me at (309) 743-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Rachel Savage, Superintendent
Winter Weather FAQ
It is snowing, cold, and slippery; the meteorologist says it could be the worst storm in decades; the street where we live hasn’t been plowed and I don’t feel comfortable going outside, BUT school is still open. Should I send or take my child?
Parents: The Decision is yours!
Winters in Northwest Illinois often bring snow, ice, cold, and strong winds making it difficult to get around town and to school. In defense of our meteorologists, their predictions must cover a wide viewing audience from Dubuque and Iowa City, IA to the north and west to Peoria and Princeton, IL to the south and east; so it’s not unusual for the storms ‘worst’ to miss us.
When they do occur, the decision to open or close schools is based on the following:
• The municipal street departments can maintain all of the main streets in an acceptable manner.
• The District’s facilities department is confident that they can keep our driveways, walkways, doorways and parking lots cleared sufficiently for pedestrians, cars, and emergency vehicles.
• The weather forecast supports the decision.
Some common questions or perceptions:
- Why don’t you close when Iowa and surrounding Illinois districts do?
Unlike the Iowa and neighboring rural districts, Moline (and Rock Island) do not have the same issues with busing students on rural highways and more remote areas where high winds and drifting snow can make roads impassable. Moline also benefits from being mostly landlocked with cities to the north, west and east and the fact that the City of Moline continues to do such a good job of clearing the main streets.
- You’re only keeping schools open because of the money.
Funding from the State of Illinois to school districts is based on the average daily attendance (ADA) of the best three months of the school year. Because of the weather, the winter months are seldom used in those calculations.
- My child will be punished if they don’t come to school on these days.
If a parent or guardian calls in to his/her school, that absence is considered “excused” and all work accepted for full credit.
Finally, like most other school districts in Illinois, the overwhelming majority of our parents work outside the home and have limited options for childcare when school is cancelled. As much as possible, we try to stay open to give families a choice; because, when we close, parents must decide whether to:
- Stay home and lose the day’s wages (if they are an hourly worker),
- Take a personal day,
- Vacation day, or
- Leave their child(ren) home alone.
When we are able to keep schools open, EVERY parent has a choice. They can keep their child(ren) home or send them to the care of school staff and administration.
- Does this mean that schools will always be open regardless of the weather?
No, student safety is our first consideration; and there have been a number of times in the past when school was cancelled due to roads that became impassable or as a result of excessively cold, icy or snowy conditions.
- How cold does it have to be to keep students in for recess?
It is the Moline-Coal Valley District’s policy that if the temperature is 10 degrees or
lower (including wind chill), students will be kept indoors.
During the cold weather, please be sure that your child comes to school dressed appropriately for outdoor events. Warm coats, gloves, scarves, hats and boots are a good idea in the winter weather. If a student wears only shoes, and no boots, he/she may be asked to stay on the blacktop area of the playground.
If you have questions or comments, please contact me at (309) 743-1600 or email@example.com
Dr. Rachel Savage, Superintendent