Kenwood Academy heating system breaks down amid record-setting cold spell

Kenwood Academy students leave school on Nov. 12. (Photo by Aaron Gettinger)


Crews worked to repair part of the Kenwood Academy heating system Tuesday after it broke on a November day with record-breaking cold.

The school continued normal operations throughout the day. Principal Karen Calloway emailed parents around 3:30 p.m. announcing the heat was back on.

In a statement, Chicago Public Schools spokesman James Malnati said temperature levels were checked throughout the day and determined to be safe.

“The safety of our students is always our top priority,” Malnati wrote.

Students spent the day bundled up in class as temperatures dropped across the building, necessitating the relocation of one classroom to the cafeteria.

“It was almost to the point I was crying,” said freshman Sid Kyla Neal. “It was really bad. I had to run to my locker. I was doing this test, and I couldn’t write it out efficiently like I wanted to, because my hands were numbing up.”

The National Weather Service reported that the temperature in Chicago maxed out at 19 degrees on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The agency reported that the previous lowest-high temperature in Chicago was 28 degrees in 1995. Today’s low, 7 degrees, also set a record.