Oak Park and River Forest schools closed for second straight day


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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

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.

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brian slowiak from oak pqrk  

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 10:02 AM

Double standard at work here. The village will cite a homeowner for failing to clear snow off of the public sidewalk in front of their home. Yet, the village does not cite itself for the same offense. The penalty for government failure is that the schools are closed.Strange indeed.The citizen pays, the government skates, on the ice and snow the government didnt remove.


Posted: February 3rd, 2011 9:57 AM

Vendetta? Not so OP Resident. Just going by Barwin's performance in office. The contract for the computer consultant showed that he's willing to game the system. He knew that that any checks over $25K required board approval, so he wrote them for a penny under that amount. Barwin tried to push thru a plan to spend $1mil on a trolley car system for Oak Park. Jon Hale had to correct Barwin on the facts He's moaned about not having a fridge. And now he's complaining about his Village owned home.

OP Resident  

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 9:07 AM

JC, You seem to have a personal vendetta against Mr. Barwin. Im sorry for that.


Posted: February 2nd, 2011 11:36 PM

Mr. Misinformation at work here. Today, Village Manager Tom Barwin issued an "all clear" for 250 miles of streets in Oak Park. Yet, he alerts the school districts that bridges and public walkways have not been cleared off. Does he have any idea what he's saying? The lack of communication between Village Hall and residents has been appalling. No timely updates were sent via TV6, the Village website or local media. What if this had been a more serious emergency? Would you want Barwin in charge?

Jennifer LaFleur, PDOP Staff from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2011 7:01 PM

Please note that the Park District of Oak Park will also be canceling its programs for Thursday, January 3. Visit www.oakparkparks.com for additional information. Thank you.

D. Houlihan from Oak Park  

Posted: February 2nd, 2011 6:27 PM

OPRF is closed, too.

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