It’s 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, however, the Rock Island, United Township and Moline superintendents jointly make the decision to open or close schools for seven districts and five non-public schools on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities.
In general, the decision 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. The one exception to this is the Moline H.S. Attendance Incentive Program.
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’re 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.
Hoping the rest of this winter is mild and for any snow or ice to fall on the weekend and away from roads and power lines. If you have questions or comments, please contact me at 743-8102 or email@example.com
Dr. David Moyer, Superintendent
Moline School District No. 40 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.
Local superintendents and staffs study weather conditions and drive the primary and secondary roads 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 your calendar or on the Contact Us Page on the District Web site. 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. The one exception is at Moline High School where the absence will still be excused and work accepted for full credit, but will count as an absence for students wishing to take advantage of the Attendance Incentive Policy.
In making the decision to close or keep schools open, the District uses the following guidelines:
1. If possible, school closings 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 a.m. the superintendents of Moline, Rock Island and United Township check the weather and road conditions in their school districts; and, for United Township, road conditions are checked in the elementary school districts that feed into United Township.
3. Before 6 a.m., a decision is reached on whether or not schools should be closed. If the decision is to close schools, it will be announced on area radio and television stations.
4. In addition to Rock Island, Moline, United Township and its feeder districts, all Catholic schools in Rock Island, Moline and East Moline will be closed.
As you may know, once children arrive at school, it has been the practice in the Moline 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 area radio and television stations and on the District Web site.
Please make certain students have a safe and supervised place to go if an early dismissal occurs.
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) 743-8102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For school closings due to adverse weather conditions, listen to or watch the following television and radio stations after 6 a.m.
WHBF-TV 4, KWQC-TV 6, WQAD-TV8, KLJB-TV 24
Radio Stations - AM:
KWPC-AM 860, KJOC-AM 1170, WOC-AM 1240, WKBF-AM 1270
Radio Stations - FM:
WVIK-FM 90.3, KMXG-FM 96.1, WXLP-FM 96.9, WHTS-FM 98.9,
KBOB-FM 99.7, KUUL-FM 101.3, WLLR-FM 103.7, KCQQ-FM 106.5