Schools were also closed Monday due to the blast of cold air that hit the city overnight, sending wind chills below 40 degrees.
“The safety and well-being of our students is paramount,” Byrd-Bennett said in an earlier statement. “Given the dangerously cold temperatures and high winds, it is in the best interest of our students for schools to be closed on Monday.”
In a news conference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he supported the decision to close schools.
“The decision made by CPS … is appropriate given the severity of the weather,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do for the welfare of our children.”
In a message sent in a robocall to parents Monday, officials said “it will be dangerous … for children to be going to and from school.” Officials said schools will likely reopen Wednesday, and said parents could get more information by calling 773-553-1000
Aside from schools, businesses and other city and county buildings have also been shuttered due to the cold.
The YMCA, usually a haven for kids and families seeking relief, announced Monday morning that all centers in the city and suburbs would be closed. All Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago will be closed as well, the organization announced.
Critics said keeping schools open would have put children at risk, though others said schools could be a haven for children from homes with substandard heat.
The city’s six community service centers and six regional senior centers will act as “warming centers,” officials said Sunday. Extended hours will keep the centers open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Tuesday.
One center — the Garfield Center at 10 S. Kedzie Ave. — will operate 24 hours.
CPS officials advised parents that Chicago Park District facilities would be open.