Extreme weather forces temporary closure of Edina Public Schools

Alex Stenman, page editor

This week, with projected temperatures reaching as low as -30°F, all Edina Public Schools faced a two-hour delay of the school day on Monday and complete cancellation of classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This includes the cancellation of regularly scheduled school activities before and after the school day. The cancellations came after the National Weather Service forecasted temperatures reaching far into the negatives for much of the midwestern United States, with wind-chill temperature levels estimated to fall below -50°F early Wednesday morning. This will mark the first time the Edina Public Schools district has canceled consecutive school days due to frigid temperatures since 2014.

The district uses a specific set of guidelines to determine whether a school day should be delayed or called off due to weather. This set of guidelines, passed in 2010 and referred to as Policy 807, officially details that “the [district superintendent] is empowered to close any or all school district facilities or to alter the start or ending time of a school or program in the event of hazardous weather or conditions that threaten the health and safety of students or district employees.” (The policy has been revised and reviewed since 2010.) The superintendent also listens to the advice of the district transportation supervisor and other neighboring school districts to make the call on whether to enforce a delayed start or cancel the school day.

The district is on alert watching the predicted temperatures for Friday, February 1st to know whether that schedule needs to be adjusted as well. For now, schools are expected to reopen as normal on Friday, but until then Edina Schools students and staff can enjoy a midweek break and stay warm at home through the brutal cold.