I'd like to give you a peek at how the District
manages snow clearing and decision-making for the open/close of school.
First, you have found the District 39 "Emergency Closings" page. If you are ever unsure of
whether schools will be open, you will find the most up-to-date
information here. On bad weather days, we will update the link by 5:30
Next, I want to share with you how we arrive at the decision to close
our schools on a particular day. It is a fretful process that can begin
the day before. When the snow starts falling, I pull out my phone and
click on the Weather Channel App (TWC Max). I check the forecast, the
radar, and any posted advisories. I check it again...and again... and
again. I keep a close eye on the approaching storm; all of this before
bedtime! Then, at 4:00 AM, I take a scientific "look out the window" and
begin checking the Weather Channel yet again.
If I get an "all clear," I go back to bed!
Otherwise, I call Stan Stankiewicz, District 39’s Director of
Operations and Maintenance, who is already at work. He gives me an
update of the salting/plowing progress at each District 39 building. I
get ready for work and leave home by 4:30 AM. On my way I call the
Village Public Works Department (the snow plow department) for local
road conditions. In fact, I can even dial right into a snow plow! The
driver can detail for me the status of street salting and snow clearing
in the Village.
Next, I literally drive to the schools to get a feel for the
conditions and identify any trouble spots. If I see any difficult
driving areas, I call my friends at Public Works so they can address the
Between 4:30 and 5:30 AM, all school superintendents in New Trier
Township telephone conference heavily about whether or not to close
schools. We share all of the collective information we have. We want to
make decisions as early as possible and the "drop dead" decision time is
5:30 AM. As a group, the NT Township schools agree to make the same
decision on bad weather days.
If a decision is made to close school, then communication with
parents and staff begins. The most important part of that communication
involves a call to you, letting you know that schools will be closed.
Faculty and staff are also notified. At the same time, the website is
updated and the media is informed. Please make sure to notify us if your
phone number changes.
I hope this helps you understand the process that takes place so
often during the winter months. Please let me know if you have any
questions or concerns.
Ray Lechner, Ph.D.