Frigid temperatures lead Woodstock School District 200 to cancel school Wednesday

Tom Maher walks in Veteran Acres Park the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, after McHenry County received a fresh snowfall.

With double-digit, below zero temperatures in the forecast for Wednesday, Woodstock School District 200 announced it will be closed Wednesday.

Wednesday will be taken as an emergency day with no school, not a remote learning day, the district said.

McHenry County along with all of northern Illinois was under a wind chill advisory through noon Wednesday with the National Weather Service warning of wind chills as low as 20 to 30 below zero.

As of 10 p.m., no other McHenry County school districts had posted closures announcements to their websites.

Algonquin-based Community School District 300 does not expect to close its doors, Superintendent Susan Harkin said in a notice on the district’s website Tuesday morning.

“Winter road conditions can sometimes cause bussing delays,” Harkin said. “When this occurs, students may wait at their bus stop longer than normal. As the next two days are expected to be especially cold, District 300 strongly recommends all students, especially those who wait at a bus stop, to dress appropriately, including a warm winter jacket, hat, and gloves.”

The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as few as 30 minutes, according to the National Weather Service advisory, which recommended people limit their exposure outdoors and dress appropriately for the cold.

Johnsburg School District 12 posted Wednesday morning that it would remain open, directing parents to a 2019 post where it outlined what it takes into consideration when deciding whether to close schools.

“There also may be days when, despite the fact that it is extremely cold, the schools will remain open,” the district said in the 2019 post. “There is no magic temperature number; rather, we look at numerous factors, including actual air temperature, wind chill, the timing and duration of the low temperatures, and any warnings or watches issued by the National Weather Service.  Since there have been instances in the past where severe inclement weather fails to materialize as predicted, we do not anticipate closing school in most situations based only on a forecast.”