Student concerns caused early snow day decision in D-300

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CARPENTERSVILLE – District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy said he kept student safety in mind when making the preemptive decision to cancel classes almost four hours before snow started falling in the area Thursday night.

The district announced the snow day around 6:30 p.m., as the National Weather Service predicted a overnight storm that could have blanketed the area with as much as 5 inches of snow.

The storm ultimately covered most of the McHenry County area with 3 to 4 inches of snow. The Carpentersville-based school district was the only one in the area to cancel classes.

Bregy said the district’s decision to cancel classes oftentimes is unique. The sixth-largest school district in the state is responsible for 21,000 students who span 15 different communities in both rural and suburban parts of McHenry and Kane counties including Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.

“Anytime I decide to close school for the day due to a forecast of inclement weather ... my decision is always made with the safety of students and staff as my absolute highest priority,” Bregy said in an email.

Because of the district’s size, school officials have to remember that students and families often commute through country roads, narrow neighborhood streets and major state roads, Bregy said.

Parents also have indicated a desire to know about snow days the evening before to allow for enough time to plan at-home arrangements for their children, Bregy said.

It’s not the first time District 300 was the lone district in the area to cancel classes in the face of impending snowstorms. In 2008, the district was the only one to call a snow day after a snowstorm in early February.

At the time, then-Superintendent Ken Arndt defended the decision, saying the district covers a wide area.

But the Thursday decision to call a snow day was made nearly four hours before snow started falling. Since making the call, Bregy has received a mixed response of “praise and concern” from parents, he said.

The district only received about 10 messages from parents critical of the district’s decision to cancel classes, officials said.

Looking to the future, Bregy said he will keep in mind the benefits and hazards of waiting until the early morning of a storm to call a snow day.

“Unless you are the person making this decision that impacts 21,000 students from 3 years old to their late teens, living in both busy suburban and remote areas, it is difficult for anyone to understand how all-consuming the decision can be,” Bregy said.CARPENTERSVILLE – District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy said he kept student safety in mind when making the preemptive decision to cancel classes nearly four hours before snow started falling in the area Thursday night.

The district announced the snow day around 6:30 p.m., as the National Weather Service predicted a overnight storm that could have blanketed the area with as much as 5 inches of snow.

The storm ultimately covered most of the McHenry County area with 3 to 4 inches of snow. The Carpentersville-based school district was the only one in the area to cancel classes.

But Bregy said the district’s decision to cancel classes oftentimes is unique. The sixth-largest school district in the state is responsible for 21,000 students who span 15 different communities in both rural and suburban parts of McHenry and Kane counties including Algonquin and Lake in the Hills.

“Anytime I decide to close school for the day due to a forecast of inclement weather ... my decision is always made with the safety of students and staff as my absolute highest priority,” Bregy said in an email.

Because of the district’s size, school officials have to remember that students and families often commute through country roads, narrow neighborhood streets and major state roads, Bregy said.

Parents also have indicated a desire to know about snow days the evening before to allow for enough time to plan at-home arrangements for their children, Bregy said.

It’s not the first time District 300 was the lone district in the area to cancel classes in the face of impending snowstorms. In 2008, the district was the only one to call a snow day after a snowstorm in early February.

At the time, then-Superintendent Ken Arndt defended the decision, saying the district covers a wide area.

But the Thursday decision to call a snow day was made nearly four hours before snow started falling. Since making the call, Bregy has received a mixed response of “praise and concern” from parents, he said.

The district only received about 10 messages from parents critical of the district’s decision to cancel classes, officials said.

Looking to the future, Bregy said he will keep in mind the benefits and hazards of waiting until the early morning of a storm to call a snow day.

“Unless you are the person making this decision that impacts 21,000 students from 3 years old to their late teens, living in both busy suburban and remote areas, it is difficult for anyone to understand how all-consuming the decision can be,” Bregy said.


Snowfall totals in the area:

Woodstock – 5 inches

Marengo – 3.5 inches

Algonquin – 3 inches

Huntley – 3 inches

Source: The National Weather Service

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