Local News

Prairie Grove School District 46 pushes back first day of school after thunderstorms knock out power

As of noon Wednesday, power had not been restored to schools

Prairie Grove School District 46 postponed its first day of school and canceled a few other events after Tuesday night thunderstorms caused a power outage at its school buildings.

The district, which consists of Prairie Grove Junior High School and Prairie Grove Elementary School, originally scheduled the first day of the 2021-22 school year for Thursday. School will now start Monday.

Around 17,000 McHenry County homes and businesses remained without power as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after severe storms downed trees and power lines.

As of noon Wednesday, power had not been restored to Prairie Grove schools, Superintendent John Bute said in a letter to families.

Some other events have been canceled. They include: meet the teacher and supply drop-offs for first- through eighth-grade students with last names starting with N through Z; orientation for preschool, kindergarten and sixth-grade students; and a special school board meeting.

The storms also interrupted the school board meeting Tuesday evening, the district said on its website. The school board is slated to reconvene at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Bute also advised parents in his letter that like other schools, including Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47, Prairie Grove District 46 will follow the state’s mask mandate and make face coverings required. Previously, Prairie Grove School District 46 had made masks optional for students.

“We do expect all students to follow the published executive order and all school rules,” Bute said. “Students that choose to not follow the school’s face covering rules will have consequences as they would with any other school rule.”

Though Bute in the letter acknowledged that there will be challenges ahead in the new year, he wrote that he is “confident that our outstanding PG students will rise to the challenges and blaze a trail of new learning, application of skills, and create bonds of friendship that will last for years to come.”