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CPS Schools to Remain Open Despite Predicted Extreme Cold

By DNAinfo Staff | January 3, 2014 7:28pm | Updated on January 4, 2014 9:56am
 Extreme cold is expected to grip the area Monday and Tuesday.
Extreme cold is expected to grip the area Monday and Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

DOWNTOWN — Chicago Public Schools will be open Monday and Tuesday despite a predicted cold front that is expected to bring extreme cold to the Chicago area.

But students who stay home from school those days will not be given unexcused absences, officials said.

Temperatures in Chicago will be brutally cold next week, with a high of -8 degrees on Monday and reaching 1 degree Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Wind chills could hit -52.

In an automated message received by parents Friday night, CPS confirmed the schools will reopen next week after a two-week holiday break.

The message said that building engineers will fire up furnaces on Sunday "to ensure a warm, safe learning environment."

“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 child to school,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a statement Saturday. “We will be working throughout the weekend to ensure that our buildings and school officials are ready to receive students on Monday.”

Officials said students should be dropped off at the schools at normal start times where they will be able to immediately head inside, and said students will remain inside at the end of the day until they are picked up. 

However, parents can keep their children at home if necessary.

"If you deem it safe to keep your child at home, these will be considered excused absences," the message said.

CPS said it was setting up a hotline with more information; district officials said the number will be fully active by Sunday.