Chicago Public Schools are leaving it up to parents to decide whether their children should go to school when wind chills drop to 50 degrees below zero or colder next week. Meanwhile, some suburban school districts expect to decide Sunday whether to stay open.
All Chicago Board of Education schools are scheduled to be open Monday and Tuesday, when highs are barely expected to reach zero degrees, according to a release from CPS. If a parent calls in to notify a child's school that the child will not be attending, the student's absence will be excused, a CPS spokeswoman said in an email.
"While all District schools are slated to be open on Monday, I strongly encourage parents to use their own discretion in deciding whether to send their children to school," schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in the release. "We will be working throughout the weekend to ensure that our buildings and school officiails are ready to receive students on Monday."
Building engineers were to head into city schools on Sunday to turn up heat to standard classroom temperatures in preparation for children going to school Monday, according to CPS. If heating systems are malfunctioning, CPS will take students to alternate sites.
The contractors who run the CPS bus system are checking their vehicles to make certain they will be ready to arrive on-time Monday.
Parents who drop off children are asked to dress them warmly and bring them to school at their usual time.
At school, students will have recess indoors and be kept inside until they are picked up.
Parents with questions can call the CPS hotline at (773) 553-3100.
In contrast to CPS' decision to stay open, some area schools already have decided to close for Monday and Tuesday, according to the WGN-AM Emergency Closing Center.
In the suburbs, school districts said they were monitoring weather conditions, with some districts, including Schaumburg’s District 54 and Naperville’s District 203, expecting to decide Sunday night whether to close schools Monday or Tuesday.
Some area schools whose administrators already have decided to close are religious schools and the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office of Catholic Schools on Friday sent out an email reminding school officials to decide whether to stay open "based on your own local conditions, that is in the best health and safety interests for your children, their families, and your faculty and staff."