MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For the second time this winter, the state’s three largest school districts had to cancel classes ahead of a frigid arctic front that threatened Minnesotans with wind chills as low as 45 degrees below zero.
On Wednesday night, Minneapolis Public Schools and St. Paul Public Schools both announced that they had called off classes for Thursday. Earlier in the day, the state’s largest district, Anoka-Hennepin, said it was also canceling school ahead of the bitter cold.
Dozens of other districts across the state also made the decision to close Thursday.
Related: School Closings Page
According to the National Weather Service, almost all of Minnesota is under a wind chill warning until noon on Thursday. Wind chills are dipping between 35 and 45 degrees below zero, and in such conditions exposed skin can freeze in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.
Dennis Carlson, the superintendent of the Anoka-Hennepin School District, said he made the call to close early to give parents who needed child care a heads up. But he added that making the call wasn’t easy.
“If I call it, I’ll get complaints. If I don’t call it, I get complaints,” he said.
Activities for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Anoka-Hennepin public schools were also canceled.
Also, both the Minneapolis and St. Paul districts said that administrators will be at school buildings in case students happen to show up.
When the Twin Cities districts were asked why they waited until Wednesday night to call off Thursday’s classes, Minneapolis said there was no reason and St. Paul said it was monitoring the forecast, but in the end it was just too cold.
Earlier this month, Gov. Mark Dayton ordered all public schools in Minnesota to close as a polar vortex descended on the state.