Emergency Closing FAQs

Below is some important information regarding District 39 protocols and procedures for dealing with inclement weather and school closure considerations. Although we hope to avoid the cancelation of classes, the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. Below are some FAQs when extreme weather is in our forecast: 

Which factors do we consider when evaluating extreme weather conditions? 

The safety of our students and staff weighs heavily into any decision we make regarding the closure of in-person schooling due to inclement weather. Street conditions (both in Wilmette and in surrounding municipalities), weather conditions including temperature, wind chill and snow accumulation, school building conditions and bus conditions are all considered and used to inform the decision. We also consult with the Village of Wilmette and our local school district neighbors, including New Trier High School District 203, to evaluate conditions and forecasts before making a final determination regarding weather, safety conditions and school closures. 

Does the District have guidelines in place for extreme heat?

Yes, District 39 has a comprehensive Excessive Heat Plan to help guide us through days with an extremely high temperature/heat index. In the event of a heat-related emergency closure, e-learning day or early dismissal, parents, students, and staff will be notified via School Messenger and the district website. The goal is to plan as far in advance as possible. Every effort will be made to make and communicate this decision by 9 pm the previous evening.   

How will parents be notified of a school closing?

If inclement weather conditions warrant cancelling in-person schooling, the district will typically pivot to remote learning for the day. District 39 parents and guardians will receive an email, automated call and text message from the school by 5:30 am on the morning of the in-person school closing. Additionally, in-person school closure notifications are posted to our district website and are relayed to all major Chicago radio and television outlets. Parents are encouraged to check email, cell phone messages or the district website for information regarding in-person school closures.   


Will in-person students pivot to a remote learning day?

Not necessarily. The first day of school closure will be a traditional "snow day" with classes canceled. If there is a need for a second weather-related cancelation, we will then implement our e-learning remote instruction plans. In that event, families will receive instructions and details from their school(s).

Will the District calendar need to be adjusted as a result of this emergency closure?

It is unlikely that an emergency closure will result in a change to our school calendar, provided that we are able to minimize school-day cancelations. However, we have reserved five emergency days in June in the event of more than one school-day cancelation.   

What should I do if I do not hear that in-person schooling is cancelled?

The district will send out a voice call, email and a text message to families and staff if in-person schooling must be cancelled due to inclement weather.  In addition, in-person school closure notifications are posted to our district website. If there are no notices of school closures, school is in session as planned. Please exercise caution traveling to and from school, and dress appropriately for the weather conditions. 

When in-person school is in session, what should parents know to keep their children safe and warm?

Our school principals regularly monitor weather throughout each school day in order to make decisions regarding outdoor exposure of our students. We value the learning opportunities and play that our students experience when they are outdoors for recess, and plan for outdoor recess whenever it is safe for our students. Students go outside for recess daily and are also outside during arrival and dismissal, unless extreme weather events prevent this. To help keep our students safe and able to fully enjoy their outdoor time, students are encouraged to dress warmly and prepared for play. Hats, gloves, face coverings, winter coats, snow pants and boots are strongly encouraged.