A Message from the Superintendent
District 153 Families,

Mother Nature had a little post-Thanksgiving present for us--although not a present many of us wanted. Many thanks to our families for getting their students to school or patiently waiting for school buses on a challenging morning. We had an 82% student attendance rate today at all three schools, and the vast majority of our staff made it into work despite some lengthy commutes. Well done!

I thought this might be a good time to remind you how decisions are made to close or keep schools open during inclement weather.

The decision to close District 153 schools rests with me. There is no specific temperature that will automatically trigger a decision to close the schools. However, special consideration is given when temperatures are below zero or wind chills fall below -20F. 
Among the factors I consider are these:
  • Are the roads passable? Can school buses safely navigate residential streets? Will school district personnel have trouble making it into work? 
  • Can a child who is appropriately dressed for the weather safely walk outside for 10-20 minutes? The majority of our "walkers" have a ten-minute or less walk. Have community residents had a reasonable amount of time to clear sidewalks after the most recent snowfall?
  • What is the longer-term weather forecast? Will closing the schools one day mean closing for several more due to similarly predicted conditions?
  • Will the potential benefits of closing the schools outweigh the potential disruptions to our families' life and work schedules?

What other school districts are choosing to do is also a consideration, but frankly, it is a lesser one. Each school district has its own unique local factors to take into consideration, so what another school district decides may not be the right decision for District 153.

It is always a parent's prerogative to keep their child home from school. Only a parent can decide what is in their child's and family's best interest. A parent need only call the school (708-647-2200) to report their child's absence.
When we decide to close the schools
When the District plans to close schools, the announcement is immediately posted on our website, hsd153.org, and to our school district Facebook page. The information is also sent to local news outlets, but we have no control over how quickly or accurately that information is disseminated.

Families will also receive a telephone call from our emergency automated telephone service either the night before or early in the morning of a school closure.  PLEASE LISTEN TO ALL TELEPHONE MESSAGES FROM DISTRICT 153.  During a closure, no one will be here to answer your question if you try to call the school or district office to ask what the telephone call was about.

This year we have the ability to send text messages. Click here for Instructions for opting-in to this service.

Hopefully, you won't be getting any messages this winter because we won't need any emergency days. Hey, a superintendent can dream, can't he?


Dr. Dale Mitchell, Superintendent
Snowy Morning MVPs
Our maintenance crew started the plowing, shoveling and salting at 4:00 AM this morning! We're so grateful to these dedicated folks who work hard every day to ensure our students have a safe and clean place to learn.
Have You Taken the Online Parent Survey Yet?
District 153 encourages our parents and guardians to take this short survey about our schools’ learning environments. The Illinois State Board of Education’s “5 Essentials” survey assesses school climate and learning conditions. The survey provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in improving their schools.
The parent survey will be administered online from October 23 through January 18. The parent survey is to be completed by parents, guardians, or other caregivers with a child in grades prekindergarten through 12. It is available in English and Spanish and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. If you have more than one (1) child and they attend the same school, you may elect to participate multiple times. For parents with children enrolled in multiple schools, we recommend that you participate in the survey for each school. Only one parent per household may participate in the survey.
Upcoming Events
Fundraiser for Operation Snowflake
Eat dinner at Chipotle on Monday, Dec. 10th and help raise funds for Operation Snowflake!

Wednesday, Nov. 28
for Incoming Freshmen, HF High School, 7:00 PM
Monday, Dec. 3
6th-8th Winter Choir Concert, JH Gym, 7:00 PM
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Monday, Dec. 10
2018 Tax Levy Hearing/School Board Meeting, JH Media Center, 7:00 PM
For a complete list of upcoming events, please check our website calendar.