Christmas break extended, as two days of school are called off due to cold

Minnesota teens have been in a constant state of joy over the past three days after the announcement from Governor Mark Dayton last Friday that all public schools would be closed Monday and the decision made by many public school districts and private school administrations across the state this morning to keep their doors closed one more day due to freezing temperatures and even colder windchills.

“It is highly unusual to have two weather related days off back-to-back…With the extreme temperatures, it is a safety issue.”

— Dr. Sue Skinner

Despite the fact that Governor Dayton’s initial cancellation for Monday was specifically for public schools, BSM and several of its fellow private schools, such as Blake and Holy Family, opted to extend their Christmas breaks past Monday as well. “The governor’s announcement prompted BSM to make the decision [Friday] instead of waiting until Sunday afternoon or evening. With all the public schools announced as closed, it only made sense that BSM would also announce our closing,” Dr. Sue Skinner, BSM’s Principal, said.

While students were enjoying that first day off, rumors began to flood in from several social media outlets that students would be given an eighteenth day of winter vacation. The speculations were soon put to rest when Dr. Skinner announced from her official twitter account that BSM’s doors were to be closed for the a second day in a row.

The biggest factors that went into the administration’s decision to postpone the return to school were the dangerously low predicted temperatures and their theoretical effect on students’ safety. “Many students would be walking from the Synagogue lot to school. This is ordinarily not a big deal, but with the extreme temperatures it is a safety issue. We also have concern about cars not starting after sitting out all day, it would be a problem for students to be outside jump starting cars at 2:45 p.m,” Dr. Skinner said.

With finals week swiftly approaching, some questions have arisen about two days of study being taken away from students. Currently, there are no plans to make up the day of school lost. “Teachers will make appropriate adjustments to lesson plans to help students finish the first semester curriculum and prepare for final exams. I would encourage students to use [the break] as an opportunity to study on their own. It is going to be a matter of good communication between teachers and students in terms of expectations for the rest of first semester,” Dr. Skinner said.

Despite worries from teachers that students are losing two days to understand the material, BSM’s educators understand that the primary concern at this time is student safety. “It is highly unusual to have two weather related days off back-to-back. It creates challenges, but we can work through this,” Dr. Skinner said.