Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200 has called off classes and after-school activities on Monday due to dangerously cold temperatures and winds that could push wind chills to nearly 50 degrees below zero.
District 200 Superintendent Dr. Brian Harris made the announcement Sunday afternoon.
“Due to weather conditions, all District 200 schools will be closed tomorrow, Monday, January 6,” Harris wrote in an email, which also stated that all other activities and after-school events also had been canceled.
“Please follow further updates on the status of school closure and cancellations on our website at www.cusd200.org,” Harris wrote.
The announcement likely is a relief to parents worried about their children’s safety since the National Weather Service declared both a winter storm warning for the weekend and a wind chill warning into Tuesday.
But the timing of the announcement also was a surprise. Typically, the district’s website states such announcements are made by 5:45 a.m. on the day classes are canceled. Many parents who joined a Wheaton Patch Facebook discussion Saturday on the issue of canceling classes due to the cold expressed frustration about the last-minute nature of such announcements.
While snow events are less predictable — one town might get clobbered while its neighbor might get off light — a cold-weather event of the severity of the Arctic blast sweeping across the Midwest have forecasts that are not likely to vary significantly over the course of a couple of days.
When a weather event cancels school, parents sometimes are left scrambling in the morning to find baby-sitters, even as the parents are trying to head off to work.
The National Weather Service wind chill warning states that wind chills of -40 to -50 degrees are expected, with the most extreme wind chills occurring late Sunday and Monday nights.
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