Before the snow even started Thursday evening, Chicago Public Schools took the rare step of canceling all Friday classes.
This is the first time in more than three years that weather has forced CPS to cancel classes, but with potential snowfall of more than a foot in some areas, district officials made the decision early.
Due to the extreme weather forecast, classes for all CPS students will be canceled on Friday, February 9.
— ChicagoPublicSchools (@ChiPubSchools) February 8, 2018
School buildings will remain open and accept any students who do show up, but the district is strongly advising kids to stay home if at all possible.
“Student safety comes first, and the forecasted snow could be dangerous to students during their commutes,” CPS CEO Janice Jackson said in a statement Thursday. “Due to the extent and timing of the snowfall, it is in the best interest of our students’ health and safety to cancel classes tomorrow.”
Heaviest snow totals are expected in the northern suburbs and Chicago, with 6-10 inches or more forecast, according to the National Weather Service. Snow totals decrease south of I-80, with totals expected around 3-5 inches.
Chicago Public Library and Park District facilities will also remain open Friday. CPS expects snow to be cleared over the weekend and classes to resume Monday. Because of the cancellation, the district will also add an additional day of class to the end of the school year, moving back the year end date to June 19.
Feb. 8: Snow could fall at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour beginning Thursday night through Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Here’s what you need to know.
Jan. 2: Chicago ushered in 2018 with a record-setting high temperature of 1 degree on New Year’s Day. With cold temperatures expected to persist, the city could tie a different record by the end of the week.
Dec. 15, 2016: More than 170 schools in the greater Chicago area were closed or delayed their starting times Thursday due to subzero temperatures and bitter wind chills.