First time since ‘97 all schools have been closed due to cold weather
ST. PAUL, MN Governor Mark Dayton announced school will be closed Monday, Jan. 6 across the state due to protect schoolchildren from the dangerously low temperatures and wind chills forecasted, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
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, adding that he encourages 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.”
The last time the governor closed schools was Jan. 16, 1997 with Gov. Arne Carlson when the wind chill was -32 that morning.