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White Bear Lake Schools Stay Open Despite Extreme Cold

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(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — For the second day in a row, hundreds of schools in Minnesota are closed because of extremely cold weather.

A bank sign in Champlin was flashing 25 degrees below zero overnight. Many school districts said they were concerned about kids waiting outside for buses Tuesday morning, so they played it safe and canceled classes. For some districts, it’s the fifth time this month school has been called off.

One district that stayed open and held classes as normal is White Bear Lake. We saw a lot of mixed reactions about the choice to hold classes today for almost 9,000 students. One of the major concerns was children would have to wait at bus stops in the cold. That’s a big reason why several other districts of equal or greater size cancelled school.

So WCCO sent a crew out to see what the bus stops in that district looked like. There were fewer children than normal waiting outside and they were very bundled up, but they were fine and their bus came on time.

District officials released a statement saying they’re confident their buses could transport safely and on time. And if parents wanted to keep their students home, they could without it counting against the students because it would be for safety reasons.

We caught up with a parent driving her second-grader to school rather than having him ride the bus. She said she’s happy it wasn’t her difficult decision to make and her son is on the fence about going back to school, too.

“I don’t know. It is hard because this is the coldest of these five days of schools that are closing so I think maybe the decision is we just have to carry on,” said parent Tara Eversman.

“The hard thing is I will be without my mom and it’s going to be hard work,” said student Abe Eversman.

We asked White Bear Lake Area School officials how this morning’s commute went, if there were any safety issues or if buses were late and left kids waiting longer than usual. We also asked if attendance was obviously lower than average today, but they would only give us the statement on their website which says “After four days off in January, it is important to be back in school.”

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