CHICAGO (CBS) — After closing schools for only the third time in 15 years, Chicago Public Schools will reopen on Wednesday.
Historically cold temperatures led to the decision to close school on Monday and Tuesday, but temperatures will moderate a bit on Wednesday.
“At CPS, the safety and security of our students is a top priority and was the greatest factor in our decision making to close schools during the extreme winds and cold,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a press release. “With the weather conditions improving, students will be able to return to their classrooms tomorrow to receive the education they need to succeed in college, career, and life.”
At the Sunrise Bus Company yards on South and West sides, it has been a day long project to scrape away the snow and to thaw the buses out to get them ready to hit the streets tomorrow. Drivers put jumper cables and fresh batteries to work to get it done.
“It’s been a task,” said a school bus driver named James. “Just being here and getting them started, the weather. These being diesel buses, the fuel, everything just thickens up.”
The drivers will be back at the yards to begin their day at 3 am.
“Everything is going to be ready for the kids tomorrow,” said James.
For many parents and children too, there’s a sense that it’s time to go back.
“I miss all my friends because I haven’t seen them in a while,” said Margaux Fitzgerald.
“I think it was a good idea to have off the last couple days given how cold it is, but this is Chicago and we know how to dress warm,” said Margaux’s father John.
Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is also reassuring parents that all the safe passage volunteers will be in place tomorrow morning for youngsters who walk to school.
CPS last closed schools for the blizzard of 2011. Before that, school was closed back in 1999.