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Hazardous Weather Information for 4J Staff

Key staff information

Be prepared and know what to do when winter weather comes!


The district will inform local news media, send a text message to staff and parents, send an email to staff, and post information on the district websiteFacebook and Instagram before 6:30 a.m.

The first notice of a closure or delay will normally be via text alerts and school closure listings in news media, but the best source for detailed information is the staff email and the district website, where we are more able to ensure complete and accurate messages.

If you are not receiving text messages:

  1. Check that your cell phone number is correct in BuisnessPlus
  2. Login to School Messenger and consent to receive calls and texts. (If you have not previously registered with SchoolMessenger, then click Sign Up in the top right, and create an account using your work email address.)

School Closure Decisions

In making decisions about school closures, our main concern is the safety and welfare of our students and staff. We also believe students and families are best served when schools are open. We will always do our best to make the best decision possible, taking into account all of the factors.

In general, all schools will operate if the Transportation Department is able to operate buses safely on all its regular routes or on its snow routes. All schools will be closed for students if the Transportation Department cannot operate its snow routes.

When a weather-related school closure is warranted, we cancel the school day for students at all schools (rather than opening some and closing others) because of the mobility of our staff and students and to avoid confusion within the community. The rare exception is a local issue at a specific building, in which case the school day may be canceled for students at that individual school.

We generally avoid delayed starts and early dismissal due to weather, although it is possible that unpredictable or sudden weather conditions will require such a decision to be made.

Staff Reporting Expectations

On days when hazardous weather is a concern, the district may cancel school for students, or—more rarely—may close all schools and offices, delay the school day, end school early, or close individual schools due to a building problem.

The following general rules will be used to determine which staff members are to report to work. Unusual circumstances may cause an adjustment in these guidelines.

At any time, if employees who are required to work believe they cannot safely report, they should notify their supervisor and use the leave provisions outlined in their employment agreement.

Regular Hazardous Weather Day

A regular hazardous weather day will be announced to media as “Schools closed, offices open.”

  • All administrators, supervisors, and professional employees will report to work.
  • Licensed staff will not report to work. They will be expected to make up the missed time on a day added during or at the end of the school year.
  • All classified employees who work a 10-, 11- or 12-month schedule will report to work.
  • All other classified staff who work a 196-day schedule or less will not report to work. School-based food services personnel, bus drivers, van drivers, bus aides, and persons in similar positions will not be paid for this day. However, they may be required to work on make-up instructional days that are scheduled and will be paid for these additional days. Other classified staff will be paid for this day and will be required to make up the missed time on a day added during or at the end of the work year, or as otherwise provided in the collective bargaining agreement.

Extreme Weather Day

On occasion, when there are extreme weather circumstances, the day may be designated an extreme weather day. This will be announced to media as “Schools closed, only emergency staff report.”

  • Designated emergency staff will report for duty and will be paid according to the OSEA collective bargaining agreement (Article 12).
  • Other staff will not report. All staff will be expected to make up the time on a designated makeup day, or by arrangement with their supervisor if there is no designated makeup day for their group, or use appropriate leave provided in their collective bargaining agreement.

Delayed Start

Rarely, the start of the school day may be delayed due to inclement weather. This will normally be a “2-hour delay.” School will start two hours late and end at the regular dismissal time. If a delay occurs on an early release Friday, school will still be dismissed at the Friday early release time.

  • Designated emergency staff will report to work without delay.
  • Administrators will report to work without delay, in sufficient time to administer their assigned programs and address the special circumstances of the delayed opening, including students who may arrive at the regular time.
  • Bus drivers will report to work in sufficient time to start their bus route on the delayed schedule. If there is any question it should be resolved with the transportation supervisor.
  • School-based staff will report to work in sufficient time to perform their assigned duties, taking into account the adjusted schedule, no later than 2 hours after their regular reporting time. If there is any question it should be resolved with the employee’s supervisor.
  • All other employees will report to work without delay, as soon as safely possible.

Early Closure

Very rarely, it may be necessary to close schools before regular dismissal times because of deteriorating weather conditions or other events. School administrators will be notified with specific closure times. Students will remain in the shelter and supervision of the school until approved district or personal transportation arrives to take them home. When schools are closed early, all afternoon and evening activities will be canceled.

  • Staff will remain at work unless dismissed.
  • Some staff may be required to stay beyond the regular end of their work day to provide care for students and continue necessary operations.
  • Night custodians will work their regular shift unless otherwise notified.

School Building System Failure

Also very rarely, an individual school building’s system may fail and make the school untenable for instruction.

  • All staff will report for work—but check with your supervisor. If building conditions are unsafe or untenable for work, an alternate work location may be designated.
  • In rare circumstances the day may be determined to be a non-work day for the building’s staff and the work time may be made up later. Lost instructional time may be made up with adjusted schedules later in the school year.

Afternoon/Evening Activities 

When classes are canceled because of hazardous weather conditions, the superintendent or designee will make a decision regarding all activities and night use of buildings by school and non-school groups by noon. That decision will be communicated through the same notification procedures as a school closure.

Ordinarily, when schools are closed for school activities, they are also closed for community-sponsored events that occur in schools (e.g., after-school childcare, school enrichment programs, youth sports activities, and routine rentals). Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the superintendent or designee.

Make-Up Days

School closure days due to hazardous weather may be made up during the school year or on makeup days added at the end of the normal school year.