Friday is just too soon to tell if a second arctic blast by the polar vortex will close schools again around the region, said Forest Park Elementary Schools District 91 Superintendent Louis Cavallo.

“We’ll have to see Sunday what the weather holds for sure,” Cavallo said.

He said superintendents around the area will be in contact over the weekend to watch plunging temperatures and snowfall to see if another day or two of school may have to be canceled.

Weather forecasts are predicting bitterly cold weather for the Chicago area on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Monday’s low temperature is expected to rival what the area saw two weeks ago, when the mercury plunged all the way to minus-16 degrees. The high temperature on Monday is not expected to top zero degrees.

Tuesday’s forecast is not much better, with high and low temperatures in the single digits below zero.

Not that it might make a difference in Forest Park.

In spite of the public outcry — both for and against the decision to keep schools open Jan. 6 and 7 — Cavallo said neither he nor the school board has made any change to policy for closing schools.

“There are no new policies in place,” Cavallo said, adding he will be making a decision based on data he has gathered by Sunday.

Even though Cavallo expressed interest in an idea proposed at the January school board meeting to open one or two school buildings as “school warming center,” Cavallo said that plan had not yet been put in place.

“That plan would have to have a lot hammered out with teachers and staff,” said Cavallo. “We’d have to decide who comes to work and who doesn’t.

“There is nothing new, no new procedures or any new policy.”

The soonest any action might be taken on that matter would be at the school board meeting Feb. 13. By then, much of the winter of 2014 may be behind us.

Cavallo said any school closings will be posted in media outlets, such as the Emergency Closing Center website (

If D91 doesn’t appear on that list, Cavallo said, “people should expect that school is open.”

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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