Longer Vacation? School Districts Could Cancel Classes Over Extreme Cold

Schools in Orland Park are keeping an eye on the forecast as dangerously cold temperatures could lead to calling off Monday's classes.

Credit: National Weather Service
Credit: National Weather Service

By Ben Feldheim and Joe Vince

Orland Park schools are scheduled to be back in session on Monday or Tuesday.

But a forecast that's calling for temperatures reaching 5 below to 17 below zero—and feeling like 20 below to 25 below with the wind chill index—leaves the possibility that local schools will extend the break at least an extra day for safety reasons.

As of Friday afternoon, none of the local schools and districts serving Orland Park have decided whether to cancel the first day back to school next week or not.


Students attending schools in Consolidated High School District 230, which includes Carl Sandburg High School, don't resume classes until Tuesday, Jan. 7.

With temperatures expected to continue in the dangerously cold range until the middle of next week, according to the National Weather Service, D230 families will learn on Monday whether school is in session or not, according to D230 spokeswoman Carla Erdey.

Look for updates on D230’s website, and parents should expect a phone message and email from the district, Erdey said.


Orland School District 135 is evaluating whether they will close or not on Monday as of Friday afternoon. Families will be notified Sunday through voice alerts and an email blast, and the district's website will be updated, according to D135 spokeswoman Tracy Marc.

Look for updates on D135’s website.


Officials at Community Consolidated School District 146 also are keeping their eyes on the weather forecast but haven't made any definitive decisions.

Look for updates on D146’s website.


Kirby School District 140 still has classes starting on Monday listed on their website, as of Friday afternoon.

Look for updates on D140’s website.

St. Michael School

The Orland Park Catholic school also has Monday listed as the day classes begin. Staff said Friday that a decision whether to closed the school or not Monday hasn’t been made.

Look for updates on the St. Michael School website.

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Catholic School

Staff at the Orland Hills school were not available Friday.

Look for updates on the CJB website.

What's Too Cold?

Temperatures are expected to hover between 5 below and 17 below zero over the next days, with a wind chill index around 20 below to 25 below, according to the National Weather Service. The agency also is forecasting that wind speeds will reach 20 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph. 

That combination can lead to hypothermia—when the body loses more heat than it can produce—and frostbite, which can set in within 15 minutes once it reaches dangerously cold temperatures. Check out the wind chill index chart in this article to see what levels those are. And go to the agency's wind chill page for more information.

YOUR TURN: Do you think schools should cancel classes because of the extreme cold? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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There are plenty of ways to keep up on local news:

Julie Kohler January 03, 2014 at 07:33 PM
Cardinal Bernardin School has announced that they will be closed Monday and Tuesday. The Principal sent an auto-call to CJB families Friday afternoon.


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