By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – To school administrators: I get it, your job is hard. But being a mom, dad or guardian of a child is too.

I get that when the high is -10, schools should be closed. What I don’t get is why these calls are not made sooner so that parents can make plans, not only for their children but for their own work schedules.

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On Thursday morning when most school districts had made the call late the night before to close, Minneapolis Police found young children at bus stops waiting for buses that never came. The concern with closing schools, especially in the inner city is that families, especially those where English is a second language, won’t get the word and the children will do just that, head to bus stops. Schools do take the precautions to keep their buildings open in case students do show up.

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In Minneapolis, high school students who live less than two miles away have to walk, take public transportation or get a ride. All of this is so much easier and safer to plan for when the call is made sooner rather than later. Parents in South St. Paul got calls at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday that school would be closed the next day. How do you get day care at 10:30 p.m.?

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For days, meteorologists have been forecasting overnight lows in the -20s for Monday and Tuesday. These forecasts have been chillingly accurate all winter. Why not make the closing calls sooner to give beleaguered parents more lead time? It is not going to solve everything, but it would help. And this winter in Minnesota all of us need any help we can get.

Esme Murphy