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CPS cancels classes on Wednesday as extreme cold moves in

Chicago Public Schools headquarters. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Chicago Public Schools announced Monday night that schools will be closed Wednesday, when sub-zero temperatures and potentially record-setting windchill values are expected to push through the area.

CPS noted that the frigid temperatures could be hazardous for students traveling to and from school. According to the National Weather Service, the freezing conditions could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

“Student safety is our top priority and the temperatures are expected to drop to extreme and dangerous levels on Wednesday, which could present a hazard for students,” CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson said in the statement. “Due to the extreme temperatures, it is in the best interest of our students’ health and safety to cancel all classes and school activities on Wednesday.”

CPS buildings will be closed Wednesday, and students have been encouraged to spend the day inside “for their safety,” the district said. An additional school day is now being planned for the end of the year to ensure that students are in class for the full 178 days on the district’s calendar.

Schools will remain open on Tuesday “as temperatures are not expected to drop to potentially hazardous lows until the evening,” the district said. However, athletics and other after school activities scheduled for Tuesday afternoon have been canceled.

The district will determine whether to nix Thursday’s classes by Wednesday afternoon.

Parents can call (773) 553-1000 or visit the CPS website for more information. Families seeking alternative programs and services should check the website for the Chicago Park District, which has warming centers across the city.