Counselor Dennis Fuller was a willing and patient playmate with Fiona Bell, 3, on his lap and another child placing a crown of large wooden beads on his head at an emergency day care at the Park District of Forest Park. The park district opened the day care Monday after school was canceled because of cold weather. (David Pierini/staff photographer)

Schools were closed in Forest Park Monday, but most parents chose to keep children home. Fewer than 20 D91 parents made use of emergency daycare arrangements at the Park District of Forest Park and Forest Park Community Center, directors confirmed. There are 811 kindergarten through eighth grade students in the district.

By mid- Monday morning, seven students had arrived at the Park District’s daycare operation in the outbuilding behind the tennis courts. Recreation Supervisor Rachell Entler said she had adequate staff, but was initially worried that the Park’s facilities would be inadequate.

“There were almost 80 children who attended school [Jan. 6 and 7]. We didn’t know who would show up,” Entler said. A hot dog lunch would be provided for children, and the parks were expecting between three and five extra students later in the day, Entler said.

Emergency daycare is offered from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. At the community center, Director Karen Dylewski said four students had shown up for the daycare.

“We asked all of our counselors to be ready, but we ended up not calling them in. I think lots of parents are taking a chance to take some time off and be home with their kids,” Dylewski said.

Jean Lotus

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...