District 303 Cancels Monday Classes

Forecasters are predicting dangerously cold wind chills through Tuesday, with the most extreme conditions — as low as -40 to -50 degrees — expected to occur Sunday and Monday nights.

St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 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 303 made the announcement shortly after noon Sunday.

“All District 303 schools will be closed on Monday, January 6 due to weather conditions,” reads a statement posted on the district’s website. “In addition, all after-school activities are cancelled. Additional information regarding these events will be posted on D303.org or your school's website as it becomes available.”

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 St. Charles 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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