Emergency Practices

District 39 prepares for a variety of emergencies through ISBE mandated drills, annual safety audit meetings, building-level crisis teams, and collaboration with the Village of Wilmette’s Fire and Police Departments.

Emergencies range from weather (tornado, storm) to potentially unsafe situations in a school building to possibly unsafe situations in the community. At times, district personnel (building or district level administrators) manage the situation and provide guidance to staff members. However, there could be an emergency situation where outside authorities (Police or Fire Department officials) are the leaders with our administrative staff supporting and following the directions given by others.

In the event it is not safe to remain in a school building but is safe to leave the school, students will be escorted to predetermined emergency shelter locations. With this action, parents will be notified of an off-site reunification location. There will be a high level of security in allowing children to leave the site and reunite with their families. District 39 will make every attempt to communicate with parents. Although difficult to do, parents should remain calm and wait for information and direction from the district.

As District 39 is prepared, it is critical for families to also prepare. Below are suggested measures families can take:

  • Talk to your child about the possibility of emergencies and that adults will do everything they can to keep the child safe.
  • Have up-to-date phone numbers and email addresses in the school registration system so school personnel can keep you informed.
  • List alternate people that your child may be released to in case you are in a situation where you cannot get to the reunification site. Let your child know who may pick them up if it isn’t you.

For more information and tips on preparing your child for emergency situations, visit Ready.gov.

Emergency Communication Practices


District 39 is committed to sharing information with the District 39 community in a timely and transparent manner. In emergency situations, District 39 will follow its emergency communication principles when determining how to keep families and community members informed on matters of school safety.


D39 Emergency Communication Principles


1. We will prioritize the safety of students, teachers and staff above all else.


The immediate safety of all individuals will remain District 39’s highest priority in emergency situations. District 39 leaders will collaborate with local first responders, such as the Wilmette Police and Fire Departments, in emergency situations to address any perceived or real threats posed to students or the school district. Detailed information will be shared with the greater school district community as soon as possible, understanding that the safety and well being of students, teachers and staff is our first priority and area of focus.



2. We will remain open and transparent on issues of student safety.


District 39 believes that families have a right to be informed in any instance where student safety or security becomes compromised. District 39 will remain transparent in its communications by sharing facts pertaining to the safety/security issue in question as well as any steps that will be taken to mitigate or prevent the issue from occurring in the future. District 39 will strive to communicate as much information as possible in such situations without jeopardizing internal safety/security measures.

Sometimes, emergency situations will occur that involve individual members of the District 39 school community. In these instances, District 39 will make every effort to respect the privacy of individuals involved when considering the information that can be released to the community and we have an obligation to follow federal and state regulations regarding privacy


3. We will communicate accurate information with the community in a timely manner.


Emergency situations can be stressful for students, families, staff and community members. District 39 is committed to sharing information about emergency situations with stakeholders in a timely manner once the facts of the situation become clear and we can verify the information to be accurate. While we understand that rumors spread quickly during emergency situations, we believe that sharing false information erodes trust in the district and has the potential to harm students, families and staff.




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