UPDATE: Philadelphia School District schools are open on Tuesday in spite of the extreme cold overtaking the region, according to district spokesperson Fernando Gallard.
Responses to this information on the Philadelphia School District’s Facebook page:
Louise Myers: All schools should be closed 2morrow!
Sharon Feudo Stipa: It's crazy to think the children have to wait in sub zero temperatures for buses.
Jennifer Ferraro Kline: Ridiculous. Kids need to be in school. Businesses aren't closing because of the cold. Dress your child properly. They should grant excused absences but when summer comes and we have to make up days in 90 degree weather you'll be complaining as well. The buildings are heated not air conditioned.
Toniell Ericksen: Actually Jennifer - I teach in a jacket and my students wear jackets and gloves all day because it was freezing in the school. It's supposed to be 70 degrees colder tomorrow than it was today. I can't imagine working in those conditions.
Helen Moise: I agree schools should be closed tomorrow! My daughter has to catch two buses; the subway and from that point, walk two blocks to school. And my son walks about four blocks to school. To add salt to the wound, the heating is poor in some classrooms.
Patrice Lumer: I have a special needs grandson who rides the bus to school and I am so grateful for this..but as we wait for the bus in the morning I watch kids walking miles to school in the morning and some have no hats and no gloves..my grandson's school has an 87% poverty rate and I have seen children come to school in no winter coats just a light jacket...this is not just cold weather they are predicting it is life threatening cold. Frostbite weather and frankly I see no reason why the school wouldn't close down for this type of weather.
Plenty of the region's schools are closed or opening late on Tuesday. The count as of 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday was close to 80. For a complete list, go here.
On Monday, all public schools in Chicago were closed due to extreme cold, and Minnesota's governor closed all K-12 schools in the entire state, with some colleges and universities canceling classes as well. And with the extreme cold headed directly for this region, a lot of parents are wondering if there will be Philadelphia school closings on Tuesday.
"We are looking at the drop of temperature as a weather event and will review the forecast to see if it will affect the school day tomorrow," school district spokesperson Fernando Gallard told me on Monday afternoon.
I'll take that as a very solid "maybe."
Other school districts in the region are also said to be considering whether or not to open their doors on Tuesday morning, when temperatures could be in the single digits.
Philadelphia has been in a "code blue" since New Years Eve and will stay that way until further notice, says Leticia Egea Hinton, Deputy Director of the Office of Supportive Housing. (Philadelphia's Department of Health declares heat warnings; OSH declares code blues... go figure). Montgomery County is in a code blue through Friday.
As of 3 p.m. on Monday, former City Controller candidate Brett Mandel put the odds of the Philadelphia School District closing at 2-5:
Word out on the street has the odds of @phillyeducation closing schools due to cold as a solid 2-5 bet!
— Brett Mandel (@brettmandel) January 6, 2014
Here's the latest on the extreme cold from the National Weather Service (as always, in ALL CAPS):
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
307 PM EST MON JAN 6 2014
...DANGEROUS COMBINATION OF COLD AND WIND EXPECTED LATE TONIGHT
.AN ARCTIC AIRMASS WILL SETTLE INTO OUR AREA TONIGHT AND TUESDAY.
THE COMBINATION OF VERY COLD TEMPERATURES AND GUSTY WINDS WILL
RESULT IN BITTERLY COLD AND EVEN DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS.
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-CECIL-KENT MD-
NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-OCEAN-CUMBERLAND-ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-
ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-COASTAL ATLANTIC-COASTAL OCEAN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WILMINGTON...DOVER...GEORGETOWN...
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE...OCEAN CITY...ATLANTIC CITY...
LONG BEACH ISLAND...WHARTON STATE FOREST...MEDIA...PHILADELPHIA
307 PM EST MON JAN 6 2014
...WIND CHILL ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
5 PM EST TUESDAY...
* HAZARD TYPES...DANGEROUS COLD AND WIND.
* WIND CHILL VALUES....AS LOW AS 10 TO 15 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.
* TIMING...LATE TONIGHT THROUGH MIDDAY TUESDAY.
* IMPACTS...PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO THE DANGEROUS COLD AND WIND
MAY LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA AND FROSTBITE.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT THE COMBINATION OF VERY COLD AIR
AND STRONG WINDS WILL CREATE DANGEROUSLY LOW WIND CHILL VALUES.
LIMIT YOUR TIME OUTSIDE IF POSSIBLE.