Community Unit District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy defended himself against some criticism that he made the wrong call by authorizing a snow day for Friday.
Officials from the National Weather Service said between 2.7 inches and 4 inches of snow fell in the area during the overnight hours between Thursday and Friday. Original forecasts called for between 3 and 6 inches of wet snow with windy conditions.
Bregy said parents have said they prefer to be told about a snow day the evening before so they can arrange child care. When he made his decision about 6:30 p.m. Thursday night to close the schools, he said he also thought about how the snow could impact roads in the district's suburban and rural areas, and how that could affect busing and student drivers.
Bregy said he has received positive and negative feedback about his choice, and that he made the best decision he could with the information he had at the time.
"I could have waited until this morning to see if the forecast was correct," Bregy said Friday. "But that would have presented a major inconvenience for the families of our 21,000 students. My goal is to keep safety first while also considering the ability of our families to make plans."
The last time the Carpentersville-based district issued a snow day was during the 2011 blizzard, according to district Spokeswoman Allison Strupeck. The district has had nine snow days since the 2006-2007 school year.
Bregy said the decision to start late or close school is one of the more challenging ones any superintendent in the Midwest can make.
"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 rural areas, it is difficult for anyone to understand how all-consuming the decision can be," Bregy said.
The district received fewer than 10 complaints from parents about the move, and about the same number agreed with the decision to close schools, Strupeck said.
Friday athletic events could still be conducted at the discretion of each school's principal, Strupeck said.
• Daily Herald staff writer Tara García Mathewson contributed to this story.