CPS Guidance for COVID-19 Closures

Chicago Public Schools Closure Notice
The past several weeks have been difficult as we’ve watched the COVID-19 health crisis impact countries around the world, and now our home. Today, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools, including Chicago Public Schools, will close beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Classes are currently scheduled to resume on Tuesday, March 31. School-sponsored activities, events, field trips, and athletic events are also canceled during this time.
I recognize the impact this closure will have on our community, and I know it will greatly burden our students, staff, and working families who rely on our schools. I want to assure you that COVID-19 will not stop our work on behalf of children. We are one family with one goal, and we are here to support you.
Important Information for Families and Staff
All school buildings will be closed for deep cleaning. Schools will be closed to all students and staff beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Only environmental cleaning experts will be allowed in school buildings along with essential staff. Families should not send their children to schools.
Healthy meals will be available to our students. We recognize that our schools provide healthy meals to many of our students, and we will be providing free food boxes that will contain three days of breakfast and lunches for every student in the household. All families will be able to pick up meals at their nearest CPS school beginning Tuesday, March 17, between 9 a.m and 1 p.m. daily. Lunchroom staff will prep, bag, and provide meals outside of the school building.
Schools will be sending enrichment resources and materials home with students. On Monday, March 16, school-based staff will send resources home in hard copy and online format. School-based staff members will also help students remember to take supplies, personal belongings, medications, and other materials home with them.
All full-time and regular hourly school staff will be paid throughout this time. School staff will not have access to school buildings during the closure.
Central and network offices will be open only for emergency personnel. Emergency personnel are considered to be those who perform essential district functions. All other central and network office staff will be asked to telework or will be excused with pay. More information for staff will be forthcoming over the weekend.
Polling sites will remain at CPS locations. Deep cleaning at those schools will not begin until after the primary election.
If you have questions, email familyservices@cps.edu or call CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) until 7 p.m. tonight. We are working to update our Frequently Asked Questions, and encourage you to check here for updates later tonight. Specific guidance to principals and staff will be forthcoming.
If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at oshw@cps.eduor by calling the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437).
  • If you or your child has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and did not have direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please contact your primary care provider.
  • If you are concerned that you or your child have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the CDPH at coronavirus@chicago.gov or call 312-746-4835.
For the most reliable information about COVID-19, please visit:
Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools
All CPS Schools to Offer Free Meals for Pick Up During Closure Beginning Tuesday, March 17
*Important Information for Families* Families Can Pick Up Free Meals Outside of ALL CPS District Schools During the Closure
CHICAGO – Following the school closure mandate issued by Governor JB Pritzker Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will close beginning Tuesday, March 17. During the closure, all CPS schools will offer free meals for pick up. Important information for families can be found below:
WHAT: Free meals for all CPS students outside of all CPS school locations.

  • Beginning Tuesday, March 17 through the closure, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m, Monday through Friday.


  • ALL CPS district schools will offer free meals for students.
    • Select charter school locations will also offer meals; a link to those locations can be found here.
  • Families can pick up meals outside of their nearest CPS school – they DO NOT need to pick up meals at their school of attendance.
    • Any student (district school, charter school, options school, etc.) can access meals at the location that’s closest to them.
  • Families can find their nearest CPS school at CPS.edu/map.


  • Each child in the household will receive a food bag which will contain three days of breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Enrichment activity packets will also be available for pick up at these locations.


  • For additional information and the latest updates, families should visit cps.edu/coronavirus.
  • Families with questions about meals and other family services can call the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email familyservices@cps.edu

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.