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Makeup days scheduled for CPS students — one in January, one in June

Chicago Public School students will have to make up the two days they received off for cold weather on January 30 and June 17, according to the district.

CPS canceled classes on January 7 and 8, when temperatures combined with wind chill fell below zero, though buildings remained open for any of the 400,000 students who showed up.

“It is crucial that our students do not miss out on any instruction, regardless of unexpected disruptions to the school calendar,” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement. “We have adjusted our calendar to ensure students receive the thorough and complete instruction they deserve while maintaining valuable professional development days for teachers.”

January 30 was supposed to be a professional development day for teachers, according to district spokesman Bill McCaffrey. June 17 — the first day kids would have started summer vacation — also was intended for teacher training, he said. Summer break now starts June 18, and teachers will have training on June 18, 19 and 22.

Principals received notice of the makeup days late Wednesday, McCaffrey said.

Though Friday, January 9, also was freezing cold, CPS held classes that day. Attendance was woefully low — 67.6 percent compared with about 93.6 percent on average this year, according to CPS.

The district told principals it wouldn’t penalize them for that day’s attendance when calculating school ratings — a welcome relief since attendance counts for 20 percent of an elementary school’s rating and 10 percent of a high school’s.

“We believe the canceled classes in the days prior coupled with lingering harsh weather were the causes, and are not an accurate reflection of individual schools’ efforts to maintain and improve attendance,” McCaffrey said.