Oak Forest schools have been out of session since late December for their winter breaks, and most of them are scheduled to begin classes again 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—has administrators in those school districts monitoring considering extending the break at least an extra day for safety reasons.
READ: Stay on Top of the Frigid Conditions at Oak Forest Patch's Weather HQ
Currently, none of the school districts serving Oak Forest have canceled classes for Monday, Jan. 6.
"We will monitor the weather forecast over the weekend and make a decision early on Sunday regarding school cancellations," a note on the Bremen High School District 228 website stated early Friday afternoon.
Officials at Community Consolidated School District 146 also are keeping their eyes on the weather forecast but haven't made any definitive decisions.
Students attending schools in Consolidated High School District 230, which includes Andrew and Sandburg high schools, 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.
—Editor Ben Feldheim contributed to this story.
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.