When the winter season arrives, it is time to give some thought to the possibility of weather that is so severe that the cancellation of school becomes a necessity. It is important for us to reiterate our general philosophy about closing schools because of inclement conditions and procedures that we will follow in the event the decision is made to cancel school on any given day.
A decision to remain open or closed is made on the basis of many considerations, but primarily on the SAFETY OF YOUR CHILDREN traveling to and from school and while they are at school.
The degree of safety is a judgment that we make as school officials and you make as parents. The general conditions of streets and sidewalks, school grounds and facilities as well as forecasts are all important factors in the decision. If school is open and you feel that it is unsafe for your child to walk to school, you should feel free to keep him/her home, with the understanding that your child will be marked absent from school.
On days when school is not canceled, we would like to ask for your help by not sending your child(ren) to school too early. Arrival at school more than 10 minutes before normal starting time presents a supervision problem and a safety/health hazard, particularly during inclement weather.
Generally a decision about school closing is made quite early in the morning in order to take advantage of the most current weather information possible and to avoid closing when it is not necessary. If we decide to close, we immediately call the Emergency Closing Center, who in turn, passes this decision on to the radio and TV stations. The stations we would encourage you to listen to are:
AM RADIO: WGN-AM (720) WBBM-AM (780)
TV: CBS ch. 2, NBC ch. 5, ABC ch. 7, WGN ch. 9, FOX ch. 32, CLTV News
For parents who have registered with SchoolMessenger immediate emergency information will be forwarded.
Emergency Release of Children
There are occasions when weather conditions make it necessary to send the children home before dismissal. Arrangements should be made to have a place for your children to go should you not be home when these conditions occur. When possible, announcements relating to these conditions will be broadcast over local radio, television stations, and the SchoolMessenger system.
At certain times throughout the year, tornado warnings are broadcast, and understandably, parents become concerned about their children at school. Each school has a definite procedure to follow in protecting the children in the event of tornados. Each school is equipped with an NOAA Weather Radio which receives direct reports from the weather bureau, so that immediate action can be taken if necessary. In order to avoid confusion and keep telephone lines open, parents are asked to:
(a) avoid calling the school
(b) avoid coming to school to take children home during a tornado warning.
Children will be kept in school until the “All Clear” is given. Parents are advised to refrain from removing their child from school during an emergency.
However, if a parent must take their child, the parent must stop in the school office to secure the principal’s permission.
Children will not be released to parents other than their own without written parental authorization.
Hannum Elementary School holds a variety of drills during the school year. Several fire drills are held each year to teach students the rules, routes and safe holding areas in case of fire. Bus evacuation drills are held once each year to teach all students the safety procedures for exiting a school bus in times of emergency. One lock-down and one shelter-in-place drill will be held each year. Students will also participate in a severe weather drill to learn the procedures and safe holding areas in case of a weather emergency.