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Winter weather information-EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING PROCEDURES
Winter weather information-EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING PROCEDURES
Tara Chandler
Friday, November 15, 2019

PAXTON-BUCKLEY-LODA COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 10
P. O. Box 50
Paxton, Illinois  60957-0050
Phone:  (217) 379-3314
Fax:  (217) 379-2862
__________________________________________________________________________________________

EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSING PROCEDURES

November 15, 2019

Dear Parent/Guardian:

The winter season is upon us and with it comes the possibility of inclement weather affecting school and activities.  I understand that the decision to open or close schools in bad weather has a big impact on families.  I also understand that our students are better served by being in school.  However, the top priority is the safety of our students and staff.

School families and district employees will be notified by the PBL School District must close due to inclement weather or unexpected circumstances.  Please review your Skyward contact information by signing into Skyward Family Access on the PBL website at www.pblunit10.com.  Once you are signed into Skyward Family Access, click on the Skylert tab on the left-hand side to review your phone and email information.  This will assure that you will receive important school closing and cancellation information.  Please contact your child’s school office if you do not have a password to Skyward Family Access.  Please note that when the district is closed due to inclement weather, there will be no transportation services for our students enrolled in out-of-district placements.

Parents, students, and public notification will be available via phone call, television, radio, website, and social media.  If in doubt about whether or not school will be in session, please refer to one of the following broadcast outlets:

Television Radio Internet
Channel 3 (WCIA) WPXN (Paxton) www.pblunit10.com
WDWS (Champaign) Facebook – www.facebook.com/PBLunit10
To opt in to receive texts from PBL:  Text “Y” to 68453
News-Gazette – www.news-gazette.com/closings
Twitter - @pblcusd10

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

How is the decision to close school made?

The decision to open or close school in bad weather is based upon relevant factors including the following:
a). road conditions throughout the district
b). current weather conditions (snow, ice, wind, temperature)
c). forecasted weather conditions
d). building conditions (heat, water, electricity)
e). conditions of all sidewalks and parking lots at the schools
f). school closing decisions by other surrounding districts

Who makes the decision?

The superintendent is responsible for the final decision based on all the above factors and input from the transportation and facilities departments and collaboration with surrounding school superintendents.

When is the decision made?

Typically, between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Is school ever cancelled the night before?

School is occasionally cancelled the night before due to the severity of the current and forecasted weather conditions.  Typically, an announcement will be made no later than 9:30 p.m. 

How is the public notified?

You will be notified by the superintendent.  The closing will also be posted and announced on the district’s website at www.pblunit10.com, WCIA, radio, phone call, and the district’s social media sites.  The district’s website and social media sites are great sources of information for school closings, delayed openings, extra-curricular cancellations, postponements, and rescheduling of events.

What about early closings?

Every effort is made to keep students in school for the full day once they arrive.  If conditions are severe and warrant an early closing, the information will be posted and announced on the district’s website, broadcast on WCIA, radio, phone call, and on the district’s social media sites.  Parents/guardians will also be notified of an early closing.  

Does school ever start late due to weather?

On occasion, PBL has started school late due to weather.  A typical late start is usually due to extremely low temperatures or district maintenance staff needing additional time to remove snow or ice from parking lots and sidewalks after a winter storm.  PBL will not begin school later than two (2) hours after normal start time.  Parents will be notified by phone call, website, social media sites, radio, and television stations.  Please make plans now to accommodate for late starts.  Children will be provided supervision beginning at 7:30 a.m. on late start days at their school if parents prefer to drop students off early.

What if my child(ren) is placed and attends a school outside of the district?

Transportation to these placements will not operate when PBL cancels school.  If PBL dismisses early due to weather conditions, PBL will transport students back to their home district in a timely and safe manner.

District Transportation

School bus transportation vehicles have exceptional safety records.  Transportation may run late during inclement weather and road conditions.  Please notify the bus garage and school if your child(ren) will not be riding the bus to or from school on inclement weather days to ensure all students are accounted for.  During inclement weather days when school is in session, the district will have an extra bus and driver on standby should a breakdown occur during a route with students aboard.  This practice reduces long delays when responding to this type of situation.  PBL will also offer FirstView to students and parents to view and locate their child(ren)’s bus in order to get an accurate time of arrival, especially on inclement weather days.  PBL will be sending more information about FirstView in the near future.

Extra-Curriculars

If school is dismissed early due to weather, all extra-curricular practices and events will be cancelled.  

On some occasions, if weather conditions improve, PBL has allowed varsity sports to conduct practices in the early afternoon or play varsity contests on a snow day.  This decision is made by the superintendent in coordination with the building principal and athletic director.  Practices on snow days are not required, and students unable to attend these practices will not be penalized.

In conclusion, it is very important that every family discuss and practice a plan for their child(ren) in the event of an unexpected school closing when the parents/guardians might be delayed in arriving home, i.e. having the child(ren) report directly to the home of a trusted neighbor, etc.  Please remember that the decision to close or delay school due to inclement weather is based on the best information available at the time the decision is made.  However, the district can never be sure how weather will affect a particular area.  If you do not feel that it is safe for your child to attend school, use your best judgment.  
 
Sincerely,

Cliff McClure

Cliff McClure,
Superintendent