Emergency Closings

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 AM.

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 check the weather 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 the weather apps 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. On my way to work 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 concern.

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.


Dr. Lechner Signature Cursive
Ray Lechner, Ph.D.

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