School Closings

Our District staff understands that our decision to open or close schools in bad weather has a big effect on families. We also understand that our students are better served, both academically and socially, by being in school. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority in making a decision to keep schools open or close schools in bad weather.

How are parents notified?
There are several ways to find out if school is closed.
  • The District will activate School Messenger, which will send a message to all accounts within our student database via email, text message and phone call. You must opt-in to receive text messages. Here's how to opt-in or opt-out of text messages. Your cell phone number must be part of the student contact information.
  • Visit your child's school website or the District 28 website, where the information will be posted on the front page.
  • If you participate in Facebook, an update will be posted on the District's page – Click here to check out the page.
  • Tune in to local radio: WGN (720-AM), WBBM (780-AM) and The Zone (94.7-FM).
  • Tune in to local television: CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, FOX and CLTV.

How do we make our decision?
Please understand that we make the decision to open or close the schools in bad weather based on a careful analysis of all relevant factors, such as:
  • Information on road conditions from our transportation provider and from our facilities and grounds department: We must give careful consideration to the most dangerous roads in the district.
  • Amount of snow and ice accumulated.
  • Whether snow/ice is continuing.
  • Building conditions (such as whether we have electricity and heat).
  • Parking lot conditions: Administrators talk to maintenance and custodial staff members who are responsible for clearing and treating school parking lots and sidewalks.
  • Temperature and wind chill: Please remember that some of our students walk to school and some must wait outside for the bus.
  • Weather predictions: We prefer not making our decision based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate. However, sometimes this is unavoidable.
  • What other school districts are doing: We make our decision in cooperation with other Northbrook area elementary districts and with Glenbrook North High School.

Who makes the decision?
The superintendent of schools makes the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the director of transportation and the director of buildings and grounds.

When is the decision made?
Usually, the decision to close school is made at 5:30 a.m. or earlier so we can notify radio and TV stations, send e-mails and calls to families, and post the decision on our web site. If we wait longer to announce a closing, some parents will have already left for work, leaving their children unsupervised.

Will we close school if conditions worsen?
Keep in mind that, even if weather conditions worsen, we cannot reverse our decision in the morning without endangering students. Once we make the decision to have school, many parents rely on that decision and leave for work. If we then send students right back home, many will return to unsupervised bus stops and empty houses.

Other information
The District asks parents to do all they can to dress students appropriately for the conditions, especially students who walk to school or ride the bus.

In the event of a major weather event, the most reliable forms of communication are text messaging and emails. Phone systems can sometimes get bogged down when multiple school districts and government organizations are attempting to call all contacts at the same time.
You must opt-in to receive text messages. Here's how to opt in our opt out of text messages. Your cell phone number must be part of the student information system.