Longer Vacation? School Districts Could Cancel Classes Over Extreme Cold

Schools in Mokena 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

Mokena 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 Mokena 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.

Stay updated on other Mokena school districts about closings through their websites as well:


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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Brian January 04, 2014 at 07:25 AM
NO, School should not be canceled because its 20 or 30 with the wind chill. Here is an idea, make sure your kid has a winter coat, hat and gloves on instead of a tee shirt or hoodie. If you cancel the day go driving around and look at the kids playing in the snow.
Mad at Dad January 04, 2014 at 07:56 AM
Here's an idea Brian, with wind chills at -50 and -60 why don't you go stand out on your corner waiting for a bus that could be running late or walk two or more blocks to a school with your winter coat, hat and gloves on and let us know if you're ready to play in the snow.
Brian January 04, 2014 at 08:18 AM
I and most of the kids I knew walked 5 to 7 blocks to school in 30 or 40 wind chill weather. I have taken my kids to the corner in freezing cold weather. I have taken them to the hill on Schoolhouse Road in sub zero weather and watched over them until my hands and feet were numb. Its called winter and I was talking about -20s not -50.
lala January 04, 2014 at 08:29 AM
Geez just cause your Mad at Dad don't take it out on others! If you, as a parent, feel it is unsafe, keep your kid home or drive the kid to school, or car pool.
Brian January 04, 2014 at 08:39 AM
i agree there are other options. I as well as most parents I know have driven kids to or from school or a practice.
Mad at Dad January 04, 2014 at 08:55 AM
Skilling says -10 in Mokena with -50 to -60 wind chills. Cancel school so ignorant parents don't make their kids walk 7 blocks uphill both ways.
R.W.Voter January 04, 2014 at 08:56 AM
Because the children of today are taken from the corner to the school they are very soft. I have heard mothers say it is too hot or too cold for the children outside. That is why their body has no tolerance for the changes. Why would pro football have a play 60 program. Back in the day, you spent 60 just walking to and from school and home for lunch. You played outside and put your hat and gloves on the radiator so they would be warm when you went out again. You built snow forts and had snowball fights. You didn't sit in watching tv or playing video games. Don't forget the teachers, they will get the day off, just because it is a little colder than usual. No wonder our taxes are so high. Thank you
Brian January 04, 2014 at 09:49 AM
R. W You nailed it. 100% correct. Not 100 degrees because that would be to hot to go to school in. Thank god its Saturday kids don't have to go to school or go out. Soft kids don't do well when its cold out. Hey maybe we should give them all trophies for going to school when its cold out, just like we do in sports. We wouldn't want to hurt softies feelings.
R.W.Voter January 04, 2014 at 09:56 AM
If the teachers are paid and don't work, and the building is heated and not used, tax money is wasted, not difficult to understand
R.W.Voter January 04, 2014 at 10:48 AM
I guess one thing that we didn't have when I was walking to school was a wind chill factor. You went with the temperature and if it was cold and windy, you walked backwards. No wind chill factor, no heat index. The temperature is the temperature. Thank you.
lala January 04, 2014 at 03:50 PM
RW Voter - I remember putting the gloves on the radiator too! And when you had snowball fights and some kid nailed you and you got a black eye, your parents did not call the police or the school. I would bet all the school around here have heat/air and surely the buses are heated. My son is older but he was always outside playing regardless of the weather. All these kids sit it in the house now a days playing video games and on cell phones. That is why Michelle Obama has to tell the school what to feed them. Raising a nation of gimme gimme gimme fatso spoiled brats. They will have to make up the snow day when it is warm out. Then it may be too hot for them! :)
Brian January 04, 2014 at 05:27 PM
I love walking around in the summer watching prints cutting the grass while their kids are inside playing video games. We have beautiful parks and you never see kids playing unless its a team event. I played ball in parries and alleys. We spend big $(tax money) for all these empty parks. As for Michelle Obama getting involved with the school and what to feed them, what a waste. She has no right commenting on anything, She has less integrity and experience than her husband and she is the biggest racist out there. I agree we are raising a nation of gimme gimme gimme fatso spoiled brats. I found it interesting when the schools sent out a note telling families their kids could not bring in birthday treats because of diabetes or peanut allergies. Punish the many because of the few.
lala January 04, 2014 at 06:11 PM
I did get PO'd when the schools tried to tell me what my kids could bring for snacks. I did not know of one kid that had food allergies when I was growing up. I was out and about today and did not see one kid outside playing in the snow. At times I long for the good ol' days!
B January 05, 2014 at 07:45 PM
How I live in an area w such despicable ignorance, intolerance and hate amazes me. And it's not likely any of you idiots walked to school in temps this low. Seeing as how there were only a handful of days this cold in the early 1980s (3 of them in1982), it wasn't this cold before that since 1872. This kind of cold is dangerous for kids and the elderly. This isn't 15 deg. Frostbite in 5 minutes for exposed skin..... Also - we apparently need Michelle Obama to tell us what to eat since I bet most of you ignorant commenters are fatties yourselves who could use some dietary and exercise advice. We all pay for your poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles in a wide variety of ways. Maybe her advice will save some of your dumb lives or the lives of our children. Finally, why are there always a few hateful, spiteful, right-wingers who reek of cognitive dissonance on these boards? Nothing better to do? Sitting home complaining about all these "takers" while you collect your social security, use your Medicare benefits, and watch out your windows while "evil socialism" plows your streets so you can leave your house! Makes me sad that you live w such hate and judgement in your hearts. More than likely, you judge and are terrible to others bc you need the most help and live the most immoral, sad, un-Christian lives...... (ps - why don't all of you who called out our "soft kids" walk somewhere tomorrow at 8am. See how far you get). Idiots.
Brian January 05, 2014 at 08:28 PM
B your post is the only one calling people names and spewing venomous hate. Your true judgmental colors showed in your first sentence. It must be difficult for you to look in the mirror. The fact that you defend Michelle Obama says a lot about your lack of judgement and character. If there were more right-wingers, as you call us our country would be in less of a mess and we would have fewer "soft kids". I need to go back outside for a second time with my kids and shovel. I hope you find peace.
R.W.Voter January 05, 2014 at 10:23 PM
B, I can't believe your statement. This is the Midwest, it gets cold in the winter. In the 1950's many people didn't have cars, there were no school busses in the City of Chicago. You walked to school, you walked home for lunch, that was life. The Catholic nuns that taught me lived next to the school. Kids today never wear golashes, wouldn't wear a raincoat and hat. Never wore shoes or boots with a hole in it in winter. You believe Michelle Obama, you drink the kool aid and do what you are told. you need help. Thank you


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