District » Weather Guidelines

Weather Guidelines

Attention Families, 

As we draw closer to winter break, I wanted to take a moment and share out some details regarding winter weather, snow days, and remote learning. As you may recall, districts in Illinois are now allowed to utilize a district-wide remote learning day in lieu of calling a traditional snow day. Traditional snow days need to be made up at the end of the school year, potentially extending the school calendar well into the first week of June. Calling for a winter weather remote learning day, in lieu of a traditional snow day, allows for it to count as a day of learning and does not have to be made up at the end of the year. 

Thank you to those that completed our parent survey some weeks ago regarding winter weather and instruction. We had a total of 1,317 responses. 70% of parents indicated they preferred a winter weather remote learning day in lieu of a traditional snow day. 25% of parents indicated they preferred a traditional snow day. The remaining 5% of parents indicated they had no preference. 

Based on that feedback, a structure for a winter weather remote learning day was developed. Below you will find the general schedule for the day that the district will follow should the need for a winter weather remote learning day need to be utilized. The schedule is designed to be user-friendly, accommodating for student breaks,  and time for recreational activity. Teachers may be following up in the future with more specific details.

General Winter Weather Remote Learning Day Structure

 

Students will have a total of five hours of independent learning and activity completion time from 9:00-11:30am and 12:30-3:00pm.

 

8:00-9:00am

Teacher 

Planning and Attendance 

Time

  • Planning time for all teachers to finalize and upload the learning activities for the day on Google Classroom or Seesaw 
  • Time to for teachers to take attendance
    • Grades 2-5 -  Students in grades 2-5 will receive an attendance question in their Google Classroom for the day. 
    • Grades 6-12 - Students in grades 6-12 will receive an attendance question in their Google Classroom from their 2nd hour teacher only 
    • Grades Pre-K-1 For these students, there is currently no unified way to collect attendance electronically as Pre-K-1 students are not currently taking home a device. We are working on that for the future. For now, daily attendance would be collected by either any activities completed electronically in Seesaw or by any completed paper learning activities brought back to school the next day

9:00-9:30am

Morning

Teacher 

Office 

Hours 

Grades 2-12 Students in grades 2-12 may use this time to connect with teachers regarding any questions they may have regarding the independent learning activities for the day that have been posted. All teachers for grades 2-12 will be online at this time with a “Google Meets” session live for students to pop in and out as needed.  To make it manageable for students in grades 6-12, the morning office hours session will be dedicated for class periods 1-4


Grades Pre-K-1 Teachers for students in grades Pre-K-1 will be available to answer any questions parents may have regarding the daily learning activities for the day via email

9:30-11:30am

Student 

Work 

Time

Student independent learning activity completion time, optional time for teachers and staff to host individual or small groups of students as needed 

11:30-12:30pm

Break

Break time for students, time for student lunch, time for recreational activity

12:30-1:30pm

Student 

Work 

Time

Student independent learning activity completion time 

1:30-2:00pm

Afternoon Teacher 

Office 

Hours

Grades 2-12 Students in grades 2-12 may use this time to connect with teachers regarding any questions they may have regarding the independent learning activities for the day that have been posted. All teachers for grades 2-12 will be online at this time with a “Google Meets” session live for students to pop in and out as needed.  To make it manageable for students in grades 6-12, the afternoon office hours will be for class periods 5-7 or 5-8


Grades Pre-K-1 Teachers for students in grades Pre-K-1 will be available to answer any questions parents may have regarding the daily learning activities for the day via email

2:00-3:00pm

Student 

Work 

Time

Student independent learning activity completion time, optional time for teachers and staff to host individual or small groups of students as needed 


In preparation for the possibility of calling a winter weather remote learning day, the following preparations will be made in advance:

  1. Teachers will reconnect with students and families to determine who may still be lacking an internet connection and seek to support or resolve any issues.
  2. Pre-K-1 teachers will be preparing and sending home in advance, a paper packet or folder with pre-planned activities for any winter remote learning day that may need to be called. 
  3. Principals will create and share with families on any winter weather remote learning day, a list of teachers’ Google Meets links so they can be easily accessed. 

 

Lastly, please be reminded that district weather guidelines can be found on the district website under the “District” tab. We strive to keep our doors open as much as possible and that includes during the winter months. However, should winter weather become extreme, especially when a wind chill warning is forecasted, the district will now be able to call a winter weather remote learning day in lieu of a traditional snow day. Notifications would be sent via Remind, SkyAlert, and through the media. Traditional snow days would still be an option if need be but utilizing the investment in devices, internet connectivity, and over a year’s worth of practice and training, will allow for a day of remote learning activities instead. Thank you and please reach out to your teacher(s) or principal with any follow-up questions.

Rachel Savage, Superintendent, Moline-Coal Valley Schools

December 8, 2021

 

Moline-Coal Valley School District’s Administrative Heat Procedure is based on the Illinois State Board of Education Policy: The health and safety of children are of paramount importance to local Superintendents. Section 18-12, the School Code allows the use of interrupted School Days for “adverse weather conditions.” As a reminder, with regard to extreme heat, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) allows for four options:
 
1. Amend the public school calendar to start school at a later date.
2. Dismiss after 5-clock hours of instruction plus lunch (MCV will use this option)
     a. Instructional time is maximized
     b. Advance notice will be provided to allow parents to arrange for childcare
     c. School day does not have to be made up
3. Utilize an Emergency Day (no school for the entire district)
     a. Advance notice will be provided
     b. School day must be made up
4. Utilize an Interrupted Day (school may be dismissed after a minimum of one clock hour of instruction)
     a. No advance notice; decision will be made during the school day
     b. Minimal time for parents to arrange for childcare
 
MCV District’s Criteria for Early Dismissal of Non-Air Conditioned Schools
 
~If the heat index (combination of heat + humidity) is 98 degrees or above
     *For the 2021-2022 school year while the Governor’s State Mask Mandate for Schools is in effect, the heat index threshold for the early release of non-air conditioned schools will be changed to 93 degrees and will be revisited once the mask mandate is lifted.
~Refer to the chart from Child Care Weather Watch
 
Communication:
~Parents, students, and staff of non-air conditioned buildings will be notified preferably by 6:00 a.m. (or as soon as possible) in the event an early dismissal is necessary due to the heat index. Notification will be made via the district Parent Notification System (e.g., Remind and/or Skylert which includes phone calls and follow-up emails to parents and guardians), media outlets, and District website.
 
District Action Plan:
~The weather forecast will be reviewed using multiple sources on both a daily and weekly basis.
~The goal is to plan as far in advance as possible.
~If the heat index is over 98 degrees, campuses without air conditioning will be dismissed. *For the 2021-2022 school year while the Governor’s State Mask Mandate for Schools is in effect, the heat index threshold for the early release of non-air conditioned schools will be changed to 93 degrees and will be revisited once the mask mandate is lifted. This list would include the following campuses:
 
  • Coolidge Campus
  • Jane Addams Elementary
  • Butterworth Elementary
  • Lincoln-Irving Elementary
  • Logan Elementary
  • Washington Elementary
  • Willard Elementary
  • Jefferson (PM class will be cancelled)
 
~The following campuses with air conditioning will remain in session for the full day:
  • John Deere Middle School
  • Woodrow Wilson Middle School
  • Bicentennial Elementary
  • Roosevelt Elementary
  • Hamilton Elementary
  • Franklin Elementary
  • Moline High School
 
Dismissal Schedule: 
~The district will dismiss the following campuses after five hours of instruction plus a lunch period:
         * Addams, Butterworth, Lincoln-Irving, Logan, Washington, and Willard (1:30 p.m.)
         *Jefferson Preschool will cancel the PM session on these days
         *Coolidge Campus (1:50 p.m.)

Staff Members:
~In the event school is dismissed early, staff members of non-air conditioned schools are expected to work a full contractual day, but are encouraged to locate a cool place within the building to work.
 
Maintenance Plans:
~Air exchange units will be left on overnight when the temperature is over 90 degrees during the day.
~Custodians will leave the second-floor windows open during the evening on days the temperature exceeds 80 degrees.
~One custodian in each building without air conditioning will come in early to open windows on days the temperature outside is 90 degrees or above.
 
Building Plans:
~Keep shades closed on the side of the building receiving the most sunlight.
~Keep overhead lights to a minimum when possible.
~Turn off any electronic equipment that is not in use.
~Students will be allowed to bring water bottles to remain properly hydrated throughout the day.

Athletics (After School Hours):
Athletes participating outdoors and in hot, humid weather or indoors, in non-air conditioning gyms are susceptible to heat-related illness. If a high risk is present, coaches must follow the IHSA guidelines for prevention of heat illness.

Updated August 2021
         ~ ~ ~ 
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, school 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 check the weather 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. Before 6 a.m., a decision is reached on whether or not schools should be closed, or if a remote learning day could be used instead of a snow day. If the decision is to close schools or call for a Remote Learning Day, it will be announced on these communication channels:

~Parent Notification System – Skylert (call will be sent by 6 am)
~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 [email protected].

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 protected]
 
Dr. Rachel Savage, Superintendent