Chicago Schools Cancel Classes For First Time Since 1999

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools classes have been canceled for Wednesday–for the first time since 1999–as the Blizzard of 2011 blows into Chicago.

Mayor Richard Daley made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. More than 400,000 students are enrolled in the system.

Given the sheer size of this storm, Daley and CPS Chief Executive Officer Terry Mazany cited the safety of students as the key reason for the rare decision to shut the school system.

“Based on the anticipation of very severe and dangerous weather conditions that could be harmful to students and their commute and their routine school day, we cannot compromise and risk their safety. Therefore we’ve decided to cancel school for tomorrow,” Mazany said.

The City Colleges of Chicago will also be closed on Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, the public schools called off all after-school programs, including elementary and high school sports and driver’s education, for Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a news release. Third-shift pre-school programs and CPS programs at Chicago Park District facilities were also canceled for the day.

Special education students were dismissed early on Tuesday, but all other students left at their regular time.


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  • Kendra

    WOW!! I am shocked, but happy for the kids and staff safety! I went to CPS from ’77-’90 and we never never never had a weather related closure! Very wise decision!!!

    • Melissa

      Um, really??? I went to CPS from 77-90 as well, and there were absolutely snow days/cancellations during the Blizzard of 1979. Not sure where you were…

    • Zeeee

      I went to CPS from ’88-’93 (for elementary) and ’93-’97 (H.S)..there were absolutely snow days during those years…

  • Andrew

    What school are you coming from Gwen.?

  • TINA


  • Staffer

    Now we just need to close all libraries!

  • Mike

    Clearly, you were educated at home by illiterate yokels…

  • oli

    Smart decision! Is there any cancellation of work for parents/ adults tomorrow? Otherwise who will take care of the children left at home?

    • Lee

      Really?? You expect to go to work? Parents who have children have priorities.

  • SassAsh

    Gwen you sound stupid.

  • joe

    Really, you would risk the safety of your child rather than call in sick? Schools are NOT daycare centers. I will stay home with the child I chose to have.

    • ChgoMOM

      Kudos Joe – thats exaclt why they keep it open in dangerous weather. ITs -10 today witht he wind chill – Kids that take the cta today will be waiting on stops and then walking in extreme cold. Teachers catching up on paperwork? Kudos maybe some will respond to emails written a while back as well.

      All special needs kids that get bussed – won’t be there etc… CPS should have stayed closed today as well. Mine willbe out of uniform dressed for the -10 degree weather!

  • Jean Duty

    Clearly, you were educated in the public schools by socialist/progressives.

  • steve

    You should all come to the greater DC region and see what real school closings are like. After you got finished laughing, you’d she how easily schools close around here. We haven’t had a winter month in the last five years where there wasn’t at least one snow/sleet/rain day cancellation. Even the federal government had an approved telecommuting day with .10 inch of ice on the ground today.

  • xomaman

    I’m a CPS teacher. This is the first “snow day” in my 10 years! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! I’m more excited than the kids. I think I’ll build an educational snowman tomorrow.

  • dideep

    I am a CPS teacher. I’ll be catching up on a pile of paperwork on my day “off”.

    • xomaman

      oh come on dideep have some fun! ;-)

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  • Amanda

    Is CPS going to cancel school for tomorrow (Thursday)?
    …The snow is 2O inches, almost two feet, but it reaches up to my waist in certain areas of my neighborhood.

    They possibly can’t expect for students and teachers to get to school tomorrow, especially the ones that walk to and from school.

    • ChgoMOM

      Those that walk will be the only ones there Friday

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