Safety is our first priority in extreme winter weatherThe safety of all our students is the first priority when determining if schools should stay open in extreme winter weather.
The decision to close school is a serious one, and it affects many working families who would have to take a day off of work or find day care on short notice. Some families do not have these options and their children may be left home alone. Often, children are more at risk when we close school. Serving an expansive area with more than 240,000 residents and nearly 38,000 students in two counties, many families and businesses are impacted when Anoka-Hennepin closes its schools.
Where can I get information on school closings due to weather?The district will share information about school closings in a variety of ways. In the list below, the first five communication vehicles are the quickest ways to be alerted:
Those responsible for activities scheduled in schools over the weekend determine whether or not an activity will be held if weather is a concern.
- Phone, text or email message from AHlert system (for Anoka-Hennepin parents/guardians only).
- District and school websites.
- District and school social media pages (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).
- District and school e-newsletters (e.g. Backpack Online).
- Dial the district office at 763-506-1000 or any other Anoka-Hennepin phone number to hear a recording.
- Media outlets including WCCO, KSTP, Fox 9, Kare 11, CCX (also known as Northwest Community TV), WCCO radio and Star Tribune newspaper.
How cold does it have to be to close school?
In making this decision, district officials rely on the National Weather Service's warning system. If the National Weather Service issues a "wind chill warning" stating that exposed skin can become frostbitten in less than 15 minutes, then the district will likely make a decision to close. If a wind chill advisory is in effect, students who are properly dressed for the weather should be able to walk to school or wait for the bus without risking frostbite. Keep in mind, students are not expected to wait more than 15 minutes for their bus to arrive. Check out the new bus app for real-time route information.
What if I am concerned about the weather and school is in session?In case of very extreme winter weather, parents/guardians have the final decision on whether or not to send their children to school. If school is open, students are expected to attend. However, if parents/guardians they feel their children would be in danger they can choose to keep them home. The absence will be excused if the parent/guardian calls to report it prior to the start of school. If the school is not contacted, the student will not receive an excused absence. Students who are already in school will not be excused if they choose to go home.