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CPS Still Deciding About Keeping Schools Open This Week As Polar Vortex Approaches

A decision on whether school will be open Wednesday, expected to be the coldest day of the week, might not come until Tuesday afternoon.

A snowy morning near the lakefront.
Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — As a potentially record-breaking polar vortex approaches the city, the Chicago Public Schools said it has not yet ruled if schools will close later this week.

In a letter sent home to parents Sunday night, CPS said it decided it would be safe to hold classes on Monday, and it would keep an eye on the upcoming weather.

“The district will continue to monitor the weather through the week and will work to ensure schools are prepared for a safe and successful week. We are  closely tracking the weather forecast for Wednesday, January 30, 2019, and an update on the district’s plans will be provided on Tuesday afternoon when we have greater certainty about Wednesday’s anticipated temperatures.”

The letter was signed by LaTanya D. McDade, the chief education officer, and Arnaldo Rivera, the chief operating officer.

CPS encouraged parents to look for updates on the CPS website, on its FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages. Recorded updates will also be available at (773) 553-1000.

Temperatures will dip Tuesday night and stay dangerously low through Thursday, with the possibility of wind chills making it feel like 50 degrees below zero at points, according to the National Weather Service.

The coldest temperature on record in Chicago is 27 degrees below zero on Jan. 20, 1985. It’s possible that record could be broken on Wednesday, Castro said, though the National Weather Service isn’t predicting it for now.

Tuesday has an expected high of 5 degrees and that could fall to 19 below zero overnight.

Wednesday could reach just 12 degrees below zero during the day. The National Weather Service said it could be the coldest high temperature ever recorded in Chicago. Temperatures are expected to hit 20 below zero overnight — which would break another record for the coldest low temperature for that day — and rise to 2 degrees for Thursday.