Jan 3, 2014 at 11:14 am
ST. PAUL (KNSI) – To protect Minnesota schoolchildren from forecasted dangerously cold weather, Governor Mark Dayton announced today that all of the state’s K-12 public schools will be closed next Monday, January 6th.
The National Weather Service predicts that most of the state will experience the coldest temperatures in a decade next Monday, with lows reaching -30 degrees and wind chills predicted to reach as low as -50 degrees.
High temperatures from International Falls to Rochester are forecasted to be only -15 degrees.
“The safety of Minnesota’s schoolchildren must be our first priority,” said Governor Dayton. “I have made this decision to protect all our children from the dangerously cold temperatures now forecasted for next Monday. I encourage Minnesotans of all ages to exercise caution in these extreme weather conditions.”
The decision to close schools across the state was announced today in order to give school administrators, teachers, and parents sufficient time to plan for these closures.
The Minnesota Department of Education will be coordinating with school districts throughout the day to notify the public about Monday’s school closings.
“Children's safety is always our top priority, and as a former superintendent, I know these are never easy calls,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “I want to thank Governor Dayton for putting our kids’ safety first, and am relieved parents won't have to worry about sending their children out in the dangerous cold on Monday, but can instead keep them home, safe and warm."
State law provides the Governor of Minnesota authority to “authorize the commissioner of education to alter school schedules, curtail school activities, or order schools closed.”
This is the first time a Minnesota governor has closed schools in response to cold weather since January 1997, when former Gov. Arne Carlson canceled schools as temperatures plunged to 32 below in the Twin Cities. Carlson also closed schools in January 1994 and February 1996.
Locally, in addition to public schools, St. Cloud State University and Cathedral School have informed KNSI that they will be closing their doors on Monday as well.
Just a reminder - this closing only impacts public schools grades K through 12 - private schools, colleges, universities, and businesses will announce their cold-weather plans on a case-by-case basis, and we'll keep you posted as we learn what those are.
Temp: 63°F (17°C)
Wind: 5 SE