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Boston, other Mass. public schools, will close Friday due to dangerously cold weather

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

In anticipation of dangerously cold temperatures that are expected to move into the region, Boston Public Schools and some of the state’s other large school districts, have canceled classes for Friday, administrators said.

“With extreme weather conditions and many of our students walking to and from school and waiting for public transportation outdoors, we have decided to close school for the day,” Superintendent Mary Skipper said in a letter to parents Thursday afternoon.

Later Thursday, school officials in Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, Westfield, Worcester, and Framingham announced public schools in those cities will also be closed. “Before and after school programs are also canceled,” Worcester school officials said in a Facebook post.


Chicopee Public Schools said after school activities are also canceled for Friday, along with “all extracurricular activities” on Friday and Saturday, the district said on Facebook.

Springfield Public Schools also canceled school and after school activities for Friday, the district said on its Facebook page.

Holyoke schools has canceled school and afterschool activities for Friday, but said district staff will work their regular schedules, according to the district’s Facebook page.

Westfield Public Schools also announced on it’s Facebook page that schools would be closed Friday.

“Student safety is our top priority and approximately half of our students walk to and from school,” Westfield Public Schools said.

Schools in Framingham will also be closed Friday “in consideration of the dangerously cold temperatures, worsened by the wind chill factor & the length of exposure for students who walk to school or wait at bus stops across the city,” Framingham Public Schools said in a statement on Facebook.

Brockton Public Schools said on a statement on their website that all classes would be dismissed early on Friday due to “dangerously cold temperatures” that would impact the area beginning in the afternoon.


“While temperatures are expected to drop significantly around midday tomorrow after the early dismissal time, please ensure your children are dressed in layers tomorrow morning, including a warm winter coat, hat, and mittens,” the statement said.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a cold emergency Friday through Sunday and said the Boston Centers for Youth & Families facilities will be open as warming centers. School officials encouraged families to use those facilities to escape the cold.

“We make these decisions with the best interests of our students in mind and we want to ensure they are safe in these weather conditions,” Skipper said in the letter.

Public schools in Springfield will also shut down on Friday due to the freezing temperatures, according to a post on the school district’s website.

Temperatures are expected to fall to about 6 degrees in Boston by Friday afternoon and continue falling to as low as 15 degrees below zero Friday night, according to forecasters.

On Wednesday, Wu said the city officials were working “quickly to ensure that everyone is protected from the intense cold weather.”

“I urge all Boston residents to take precautions, stay warm and safe, and check on your neighbors during this cold emergency,” Wu said in a statement.

As the temperature drops this weekend, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite rises, especially for the elderly and children.

“If you see people experiencing homelessness out in the cold, please call 911,” Wu’s office said in the a statement. “If residents are aware of anyone staying in a vehicle or a place not intended for living during these extreme cold temperatures, they are encouraged to call 911 as well.”


The entire state, aside from Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, will be under a windchill warning from Friday morning to Saturday, according to the weather service.

Amanda Kaufman of the Globe staff and Correspondent Adam Sennott contributed to this report.

Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.