Local schools canceled Tuesday

Anoka-Hennepin District 11, St. Francis District 15 and Spring Lake Park District 16 have canceled classes Tuesday, Jan. 7, with continued dangerously cold temperatures.

All districts also called off activities, with the possible exception of athletic practices and contests in Spring Lake Park.

“With improving weather conditions throughout the day, coaches will communicate directly with teams regarding the status of practices,” District 16’s website states.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius announced Monday morning that the decision to close schools Tuesday rested with individual districts after Gov. Mark Dayton shut down schools statewide Jan. 6.

“We encourage you, as always, to be mindful about the dangers of even brief exposure to these dangerously low temperatures as you make your decisions,” Cassellius said in a press release.

Minneapolis Public Schools were the first to cancel classes in the metro.

Temperatures are expected to be slightly warmer tomorrow, but windchills are still predicted to approach -35 degrees. Icy winds that cold can cause frostbite with limited exposure.

Anoka-Hennepin uses the National Weather Service’s Windchill Chart to determine whether temperatures are too cold to hold classes. If frostbite is a possibility in 10 minutes or less, school is canceled, district policy states.

“We don’t think it’s reasonable to expect kids to walk to school in less than 10 minutes or wait for the bus for less than 10 minutes,” said Derrick Williams, communications specialist for the district. “Student safety is our number one priority.”

St. Francis school officials will decide later this month whether the day will be made up. SLP will make a decision in the coming days. 

“At this point, we still have enough flexibility in our school calendar so that making up these two days will not be required,” Anoka-Hennepin Superintendent Dennis Carlson told staff in a voice mail message Monday.

In all districts, classes will resume Jan. 8.

Olivia Koester is at [email protected]