Oak Park and River Forest public schools will be closed for a second straight day on Thursday.
Oak Park Village Manager Tom Barwin has been conferring today with superintendents at both District 97 and District 200. And those leaders have also held conference calls with River Forest Elementary School District 90, he said.
The three have decided to play it safe and remain closed for a second straight day, after a blizzard dropped 20 inches of snow on the villages Tuesday and Wednesday.
“There were a number of factors that tipped them in that direction and led to them playing it safe and closing,” Barwin said by phone Wednesday night. Many sidewalks are still buried, and village crews have not yet been able to clear off bridges and other public walkways, he said.
District 90 is concerned about subzero temperatures and the possibility of children walking in the streets, Superintendent Thomas Hagerman said in an e-mail to families tonight.
“The safety of our students, families, and staff is our first concern in making this decision,” he wrote.
OPRF Principal Nathaniel Rouse also emphasized safety in making the decision to close for a second day.
“OPRFHS and Districts 90 and 97 made this decision jointly due to the frigid temperatures predicted for Thursday on the heels of this major blizzard that continues to cause hazardous travel conditions,” he wrote. “We do not want to jeopardize the safety and health of our families, students, faculty and staff members.”
Schools are expected to reopen on Friday at normal times, Rouse wrote in his e-mail. Meanwhile, Oak Park Village Hall is expected to reopen on Thursday after being closed Wednesday.