January 8, 2021 Letter to Families and Staff; Inclement Weather

January 8, 2021 Letter to Families and Staff; Inclement Weather

Dear Butler School District 53 Families and Staff,
We welcome 2021 and the rest of our academic year! I hope that you enjoyed your time away during winter break, recharged to take on the balance of the year, and made lasting memories with your families. The holidays were definitely different than in years past, but we are looking forward to what lies ahead and the hope of a new year.

If you would like to change the learning option for your child(ren), please contact the school building principal to discuss the next steps to either transition to in-person learning or parallel-remote learning. Dr. Prosen, Ms. Owen, Ms. Prola, and Ms. Zaniewski will work in partnership with you and your family to make these transitions occur.
As snow is on the ground and the temperatures will continue to remain cold during these winter months, I wanted to send a message relating to potential weather-related school building closures. While I consider closing our school buildings to be an exception and place a strong emphasis on keeping our schools open, my first priority is keeping our students and staff safe. It is important that you know that the weather prediction itself is not the only determinant. There are other factors that are carefully analyzed when making a decision to keep the buildings open or to close. To highlight some:

  • The safety and well-being of students and staff
  • The severity of the weather (extreme cold, excessive snow, ice, flooding, etc.)
  • Timing of the weather-related events
  • The ability of buses, cars, and walking students to travel safely
  • The operable condition of our buildings

In a situation of pending inclement weather, I am in constant contact with Hinsdale Township School District 86 superintendent, surrounding community school administrators, the Village of Oak Brook, First Student Bus Company, and the Illinois Department of Transportation. While it is good to collaborate, I will ultimately make the decision with the focus on our own student and staff safety.

Because our District has an approved remote learning plan on file with the DuPage Regional Office of Education, which the District has not had in previous years, emergency days will not have to be utilized in the event the school buildings are closed due to inclement weather. Students, teachers, and staff have the ability to remote teach and remote learn if it is declared a day that the buildings will be closed. This will be further communicated in the event school buildings require closure for adverse weather conditions.

Notification of a Closure:  School building closure decisions will normally be made the evening prior, if at all possible. But the latest, by 5:30AM, the day of. The closure of school buildings also means that all extracurricular activities will be canceled. Notification to parents/guardians of students, and staff will be communicated as follows:

  • An automated BlackBoard Connect phone call, email, and text (dependent on your notification preferences)
  • Butler School District 53 website
  • District social media accounts
  • Local media outlets

Parents/guardians must remember to update their contact information during registration each year, and throughout the year if you change any of your contact information. You can update your contact and notification preferences by contacting our registrar, Kristen Lugo (klugo@butler53.com).
Stay well, and please be safe in all conditions.

Dr. Paul O’Malley
Superintendent of Schools