Are Chicago Public Schools closed Tuesday? Here’s the latest from the district

UPDATE: CPS has announced it will cancel classes for Tuesday, along with all after-school programming. Breaking update here. Full list of school closings here.

A number of schools across the Chicago area have already announced closures for Tuesday as dangerously cold temperatures sweep across the region, but what about Chicago Public Schools?

While the majority of public schools already had Monday off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, others were forced to cancel classes or shift to e-learning because of the extreme cold.

With a wind chill warning continuing through Tuesday afternoon, and wind chill values as low as 35 degrees below zero possible through mid-week, some schools have also announced closures for Tuesday.

  • You can find the complete list of cancellations here.

In a note to parents Sunday, Chicago Public Schools said a decision had not yet been about Tuesday, but an announcement would come sometime on Monday. The district did, however, cancel and reschedule all events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which were scheduled to be held inside school buildings as classes were already not being held for the holiday.

“We have not yet made a decision about if schools will be open on Tuesday, January 16, but we are watching the weather closely and continuing to work with our city partners, including the OEMC,” the district said in a statement. “CPS will communicate with staff and families as soon as possible on Monday regarding classes being in session on Tuesday.”

The district said it plans to monitor the weather over a 24-hour period starting Sunday to “make a final decision” about Tuesday, but urged parents to be prepared for additional closures.

“If the forecast continues to show current weather conditions persisting through Tuesday, with continuing wind chills below -20 degrees, CPS will cancel classes,” the district noted. “We encourage families and staff to be prepared in the event that the extreme weather forces us to cancel classes on Tuesday.”

A wind chill warning remains in effect for much of the Chicago area through Tuesday afternoon as some locations see wind chills dip as low as 40 degrees below zero. A wind chill advisory will also continue after that until Wednesday morning.

For those outside in the cold, wind chills can be dangerous, causing frostbite in as little as 10-to-30 minutes on exposed skin.

“Canceling classes is always a last resort, as families rely on CPS not only for education, but also for meals, warmth, safety, and other necessities,” CPS’ statement read. “We also know that canceling classes can cause difficulties for parents and guardians. Any decision to cancel classes will be centered on the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”

The district noted that it considers the following when deciding if and when to cancel classes:

  • Air temperature and wind chill
  • The amount of snow and ice on the ground
  • The ability of students and staff to get to school and work safely
  • The accessibility of buildings and roads
  • The ability to transport students safely on buses
  • Potential issues with heating systems or power outages

But even if classes are canceled, the district aims to still offer uo places for students and staff to stay warm.

“We are working diligently to ensure that IF classes are in session on Tuesday, we can provide students and staff with buildings that are warm, safe, and dry,” the district said. “We are also working closely with our transportation vendors to ensure that bus service will run smoothly for students IF classes are in session on Tuesday.”

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