Deep freeze means no school Monday

To protect Minnesota schoolchildren from forecasted dangerously cold weather, Gov. Mark Dayton announced Friday that all of the state’s K-12 public schools will be closed next Monday, Jan. 6.

The National Weather Service predicts that most of the state will experience the coldest temperatures in a decade next Monday, with lows reaching minus 30 degrees and wind chills predicted to reach as low as minus 50 degrees. High temperatures from International Falls to Rochester are forecasted to be only minus 15 degrees.

“The safety of Minnesota’s schoolchildren must be our first priority,” Dayton said in a news release. “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 Friday in order to give school administrators, teachers and parents sufficient time to plan for the closures. The Minnesota Department of Education will coordinate 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,” Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. “I want to thank Gov. 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 authority to “authorize the commissioner of education to alter school schedules, curtail school activities, or order schools closed.”