A Message from the Superintendent.
Dear District 153 Families,

Snow on Halloween and 60-degree weather on Christmas! Who knows what will happen next? 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? Most 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.

You can opt to receive a text message, too. Click here for instructions for opting-in to this service.

Enjoy your long weekend.


Dr. Dale Mitchell, Superintendent
Jame Hart Crowns New Spelling Champs
Congratulations to James Hart spelling bee champions Dylan McGee (1st place) and Grace Taylor (2nd Place)! These 6th-grade orthographers (you can look it up!) bested their peers at the school's 2019-20 spelling bee on Jan. 9th.
Magic and Mayhem with a Positive Message
Churchill School welcomed Tim Hannig and his ProKids Show on Jan. 9th. Hannig uses puppetry and magic to encourage students to make good choices and reflect positive character traits. Kids previewed the show at afternoon school assemblies. Later that night, students returned with their families for the ProKids Family Night Show. 
Reading Buddies Promote Literacy
Lisa Rost's 1st-grade reading enrichment students practiced their reading fluency skills while using puppets. The students could choose to read a story to the puppet, or the puppet could do the reading. The puppets tended to read with more expression and alter their voices for different characters in a story. The kids had a great time with this activity, and we're pretty sure the puppets enjoyed it, too.
aurelio's logo
White Pines Fundraiser
at Aurelio's
Tuesday, Jan. 21

Frozen, Jr.
Presented Thursday, Feb. 27 and Friday, Feb. 28
Foundation 153 Winter Gala
Enjoy a fun night out while raising funds for our District 153 schools! 

Learn More
Future Dates
Jan. 20 No School: MLK Holiday
Jan. 21 White Pines Trip Fundraiser at Aurelio's
Jan. 21 Tri-District Concert, HF High School South Gym, 7:00 PM
Feb. 4 6th-Grade Band, Choir & Orchestra Concert, JH Gym, 7:00 PM
Feb. 11 School Board Meeting, JH Media Center, 7:00 PM
Feb. 14 No School: Staff Institute Day
Feb. 17 No School: Presidents Day Holiday

Don't forget to check the VIRTUAL BACKPACK on our website from time to time for local programs and activities that may interest you and your family.