Emergency Info/Severe Weather

Emergency School Closing

If there is a need to close one or more of our schools due to weather conditions, power failure, or other unforeseeable circumstances, an announcement will be broadcasted on local radio and/or television stations. The District will also utilize the emergency telephone messaging system to notify families. The Illinois State Board of Education has directed districts to contact the Emergency Closing Center (www.emergencyclosing.com) which acts as the clearing house for such announcements. The Bureau will, in turn, notify the radio and television stations of school closings.

AM Radio 720 and 780;
TV Stations CBS2, NBC5, ABC7, WGN9, Fox and CLTV

Please note that the announcement may be made in any of the following ways as we have no control over what the announcer may say:

Ridgeland School District 122, Cook County
Cook County School District 122,
Ridgeland Public Schools, Cook County

Should it be necessary to close school during the school day, it would be in the best interest of your child for you to make arrangements for her or him to go to an alternate home (such as a friend, neighbor, or nearby relative) in the event no one would be at your home upon the arrival of your child.

It is the practice of this school district to remain open whenever possible. In the case of inclement weather, it is the parent’s decision as whether or not to send their child(ren) to school under those circumstances.

Severe Weather

Severe weather falls into several categories, each with a different time element, and with a different level of severity.

Excessive Heat

When the temperatures are forecasted to be 90+ degrees, we suggest that students come to school dressed in light-weight and light-colored summer clothes (short sleeve shirts, appropriate-length shorts, etc.). Students in grades Kindergarten through Five may bring individual containers of water to maintain a sufficient level of fluids. Students in grades Six through Eight have regular breaks between classes when they may drink water at the fountains and therefore will not be allowed to have individual water containers. Teachers at all levels will be asked to give their classes a reasonable number of water breaks. Outdoor and indoor physical activities in gym will be modified appropriately for weather conditions.

If the temperature and humidity becomes excessive (100+ degrees), other options will be considered, including reduced hours or the closing of schools. In the event the decision is made to close district schools, we plan to notify parents the preceding day via notices sent home with students as well as by a phone call from the emergency telephone messaging system so that arrangements can be made for the supervision of the children. Naturally, we will make every effort to notify parents in writing as soon as a decision is made to modify school hours or close school. We will also contact the local media and use whatever other options we may have available to notify parents of any change in our regular schedule. As with severe weather during the winter months, we will make every effort to keep school open while maintaining a safe environment for the children.

Extreme Cold

When it is raining or snowing, or when the outside temperature is 25˚ or below, or when the wind chill factor is 25˚ or below, students will be allowed to enter school buildings ten minutes before the start of the school day. Principals will be responsible for scheduling indoor supervision utilizing staff members currently assigned to such duty on that specific day. This policy will be in effect for determining when to remain inside for recess or any other scheduled outdoor activity.

Severe Thunderstorm

  1. There will be no district-wide action on a severe thunderstorm watch.

  2. If a storm occurs at dismissal time, the principal will consider holding the pupils until the major storm activity has passed. If the dismissal is delayed, the principal will notify the District Office of this action.


  1. Public warning of impending blizzard conditions will be made through local media. District 122 administrators are responsible for early dismissal decisions.

  2. Parents should warn their children about the following:

    1. Wearing proper dress.

    2. Going directly home from school or from the bus stop.

    3. Visibility and road conditions for motorists and safety procedures.

  3. If school is canceled prior to the start of the school day, notice will be given to local media for broadcast. Additionally, every parent and guardian will receive a phone call from the emergency messaging system.

Tornado Watch

  1. A tornado watch is the forecast of one or more tornadoes over a large area.

  2. Each school in District 122 has an emergency band radio which continuously monitors the Civil Defense Weather Alert, State Weather Bureau, and the State Highway Police.

  3. If at dismissal time the weather is threatening, although no tornado warning has been received, the principal will consider holding pupils until major storm activity has passed. If dismissal is delayed, the principal will notify the District Office of this action. The principal may also decide to dismiss children up to ten minutes early to avoid severe weather, providing there is sufficient time for each child to reach home without danger.

Tornado Warning

  1. Public Warning Signal - 5 minute steady blast on the Civil Defense Siren is the signal that a TORNADO has been sighted.

  2. Children are not released from school during a tornado warning except to their parents, who must report to the school office and identify themselves. Parents are advised to exercise extreme caution when picking up their children since traffic can be a serious hazard for children during tornado warnings.

  3. Children will remain in the tornado shelter areas until the "All Clear" signal is sounded.