CHICAGO — All Chicago Public Schools will be closed Monday, the district announced Sunday evening.
“The safety and well-being of our students is paramount,” said CPS boss Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “Given the dangerously cold temperatures and high winds, it is in the best interest of our students for schools to be closed on Monday.”
CPS had planned to keep schools open, but on Sunday, the Chicago Teachers Union demanded schools be closed, with wind chills as low as 50 below zero expected. AccuWeather meteorologist Justin Povick said more snow is expected overnight, and Monday's high will be 12 below zero.
"District officials have been monitoring the expected weather, and it will be dangerously cold for children to be going to and from school in the forecasted subzero temperatures and high winds," according to a CPS news release.
Critics said keeping schools open would have put children at risk, though others said schools could be a haven for children from homes with substandard heat.
The city's six community service centers and six regional senior centers will act as "warming centers," officials said Sunday. Extended hours will keep the centers open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Tuesday.
One center — the Garfield Center at 10 S. Kedzie Ave. — will operate 24 hours.
CPS officials advised parents that Chicago Park District facilities would be open.