The following are New Trier's weather closing procedures -- including how the District decides whether to close school, how and when we inform families of our decision, and how we make up days lost to weather closures.
Deciding when to close school
New Trier takes into account a number of factors when considering whether to close school due to weather conditions such as heavy snow or extreme cold. First and foremost, we want to make sure it is safe for our students and staff to come to school. Road and travel conditions factor into our decision along with weather forecasts for conditions that may develop during school hours. In cases of extreme cold, we test our buildings' heating systems to make sure they will be fully operational, and we talk to our transportation providers about whether they will be able to run bus routes to school. Finally, we consult with our sender school superintendents and try to make a joint decision when possible.
Communicating with families
We communicate closure information by 5 a.m. via phone call, email, text for those who have opted in, and on our website and social media channels. If you do not hear from us by 5 a.m. on a snowy or cold day, school will proceed at the normal time and bus routes will run as usual. Students involved in activities will receive notification from their sponsor or coach about cancellations or special schedules during school closure days.
Making up school closure days
Each semester includes a non-attendance Grading Day after final exams that is used as a make-up day if we need to close school due to weather that semester. That is why we stress to families that they should not plan travel that includes a Grading Day, since final exams will take place on that day if a weather day is used. In rare cases, we may add days at the end of the school year.
You may have heard about or experienced e-learning days, which allow districts to count a snow day as a school day if students are taught remotely. In 2019, the state issued more stringent requirements for these days, including that students must receive at least five hours' worth of instruction. Given the challenges of providing meaningful instruction when the timing of these days is unpredictable, New Trier has decided not to pursue this option at this time.