Start of School and Proactive Measures for Excessive Heat

Dear District 97 Staff and Families,

Over the past several weeks, District 97 staff and administrators have been preparing for the return of students and the start of a great school year. The extreme heat forecast for Wednesday and Thursday has presented an unexpected challenge—one that we are planning for proactively.

In the two sections below, you will find information about the district’s preventative measures, as well as tips and resources for managing the excessive heat. Your school may follow-up with additional building-specific information, and can be reached via Let’s Talk if you have additional questions.

Thank you for your care and collaboration every day, and especially as our community works together to keep each other safe and healthy during this first week of school.


Dr. Ushma Shah

What We Are Doing as a D97 Team

  • Providing safe learning spaces
    • While most of our classrooms have air conditioning, schools may need to temporarily move classes without air conditioning into cool common areas (library, auditorium, cafeteria, etc.) and utilize portable air conditioning units.
    • Keeping classrooms as cool as possible by drawing shades and turning off overhead lights when they are not needed.
  • Keeping everyone hydrated
    • We encourage everyone to bring full water bottles to school. Water breaks will be provided throughout the day.
    • All buildings will have extra bottled water available at every building, to be used if needed.
  • Limiting time outdoors
    • Physical education classes and recess will be held indoors Wednesday and Thursday.
    • After-school outdoor sports practices/activities will be canceled on Wednesday, Aug. 23 and Thursday, Aug. 24.
  • Monitoring student health
    • Each of our 10 schools has a dedicated nurse who is available to support students.
    • Staff will be attentive to students’ needs throughout the day.

What You Can Do as An Individual

  • Students and staff should come to school with full, reusable water bottles.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to wear weather-appropriate clothing. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends light, light-colored, loose-fitting garments, as they reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Everyone should plan ahead for safe travel before and after school.
    • Please ensure prompt drop-offs and pick-ups so students are not lingering outside for extended periods. Reminder—we are following our early dismissal schedule on Wednesday, which means our elementary schools will dismiss at 2:30 p.m. and middle schools will dismiss at 3:30 p.m.
    • Walkers should stay hydrated and walk in shaded areas as much as possible.
    • Please be aware that Lakeview’s large buses do not have air conditioning.
    • Due to the forecast and construction in the area, there may be increased vehicle traffic during arrival and dismissal. Please help keep our school communities safe by being vigilant, following all posted safety signs/signals, and allowing extra time for travel. Schools will be understanding if students are tardy.

Follow weather guidance provided by state and local health departments to keep your family safe.