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Longer Vacation? School Districts Could Cancel Classes Over Extreme Cold

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

By Ben Feldheim and Joe Vince

Lincoln-Way schools are scheduled to be back in session on Monday.

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 Lincoln-Way have decided whether to cancel the first day back to school next week or not. Families within Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 can find out Sunday through the district’s website whether school will be in session, according to district staff. Alerts will also be available on the LWay 210 Facebook page, broadcast on radio stations and by phone.  

Details about LWay 210 emergency closings online.

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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