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D103 to Test Our Emergency Notification System

With winter weather arriving soon, we want to be sure you will receive our weather-related communications.

  1. In the event of a school emergency, we typically contact parents through email, text message, and phone call.
  2. On Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, we will test all of these systems to make sure you are receiving these communications. If you do not receive a phone call or text message tomorrow, please respond to the email you receive on Oct. 30 with your child’s name and grade level and we will look into it for you.

Reviewing these communications will help us keep you informed about the decision-making process in the event of a school closure. As an elementary district serving young children, we recognize that you rely on us to keep our schools open, providing it is safe to do so.

How We Determine School Closures

On a severe weather morning, we begin to assess conditions the day before, with student safety as our number one priority. The variables we consider include the following:

  • Local weather forecasts
  • Road conditions
  • Temperature (-20° F or colder) and Wind Chill (A wind chill of -35° F is dangerous as exposure for more than 20–30 minutes makes skin susceptible to frostbite.)
  • If buses are operating, if drivers are available, and if buses can navigate the roads safely
  • If our staff can arrive at school safely
  • And, if our school buildings are functioning properly (e.g., furnaces/heat/water/no frozen or burst pipes/phones)

The Stevenson High School District 125 Consortium of superintendents communicate at 4:45 a.m. on the day of inclement weather to share information. Although circumstances may result in all of the consortium elementary districts closing, the final decision rests with the superintendent in each district. Stevenson High School rarely closes, because its students have access to alternative transportation options.

Using existing contact information (e.g., home phone, cell phone, email address) in Unified Classroom, District 103 will notify parents and staff through our communication platform, Blackboard. That system will call parents as well as text and email them.

Another form of notification is through the Emergency School Closing Center, which broadcasts the information on television and radio stations. Please note: These broadcasts may only update this information in 30-minute intervals. The district also posts school closings or late arrival changes on its website.

Late Arrival Procedure

An alternative to closing schools could be implementing the Late Arrival Procedure, which we would determine by 5:00 a.m. We would use the same notification system as described above to notify parents that a late arrival has been put into effect for students.

The District’s Late Arrival Procedure provides us with the opportunity to hold school during severe weather conditions when it is safe to transport students to school later than the usual start times.

On a Late Arrival Day, buses pick up students on their normal routes 90 minutes later than their scheduled morning pick up time.

  • On a Late Arrival Day, Laura B. Sprague School will start at 9:45 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. Students in the morning kindergarten and early childhood classes, along with full-day students, will attend school at 9:45 a.m. and end at their normal time. The early childhood afternoon classes will operate as normal per their typical schedule.
  • On a Late Arrival Day, Half Day School will start at 10:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.
  • On a Late Arrival Day, Daniel Wright Junior High will start at 10:00 a.m. and end at 3:35 p.m. 
  • On a Late Arrival Day, we expect the 103 Club will operate as normal.

Early Dismissal

Based on the adult supervision requirements for the age of students we serve in District 103, it will be extremely rare for us to dismiss students early from school, once they have arrived for the day. However, if an early dismissal decision is made, we will notify staff by 12:00 p.m. (Noon) of that day.

The Final Decision

As a parent, you have the best perspective to determine the right course of action for your child based on your family circumstances. On severe weather days, you may decide to transport your child to school or determine that you want to keep your child at home. We know that your child’s safety is your primary concern and will respect whatever decision you make.

We appreciate your continued support throughout these winter months.