Governor Closes Schools Statewide

Anticipating the historically low temperatures, Gov. Mark Dayton just announced that Minnesota’s public schools will be announced on Monday, Jan. 6. The Governor and Commissioner Brenda Cassellius made the decision earlier today to give school administrators, teachers, and parents sufficient time to plan for these closures.

MREA understands the Governor’s and Commissioner’s desire to protect children and school staff from the dangerously cold temperatures expected for Monday. 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 Minnesota Department of Education will coordinate with school districts throughout the day to notify the public about Monday’s school closings.

Local Decisions

MREA joined many superintendents on today’s conference call with Commissioner Cassellius regarding the statewide. She made it very clear that the Governor’s order affects only students during the school day. All other decisions regarding staff and extra-curricular activities are local decisions.

MREA Executive Director Fred Nolan called the Commissioner directly after the conference call regarding school age child care programs. She said that public early childhood educational programs would be encompassed by the governor’s order. Whether to run or cancel day care programs either run privately in school or by community education are local decisions.

The Commissioner shared with MREA today that she supports local decision making, and that an extraordinary set of circumstances led to this order.

MREA knows that school district leaders are accustom to making weather decisions and always make the safety of students and staff a top priority.

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