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Most schools closed, but 1 metro district bears down

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Despite bitterly cold temperatures – and widespread school closings around the state – school bus drivers in White Bear Lake fired up their rigs Tuesday morning.

Officials in the suburban school district were in a small minority of districts that went ahead and held classes, KSTP reports, even though they had canceled school the day before, when it was slightly "warmer."

School officials on the district's Facebook page said they were committed to student safety and confident they could transport students to schools without harm. They noted: "After four days off in January as a result of weather, we believe it is important for us to offer the opportunity for students to be back in school and learning."

And they add: "Ultimately, the decision to send children to school remains with families. The District supports those decisions that are made for the safety and health of students. There are no negative consequences, and our schools work with families to assure that work is made up when an absence is safety-related."

Superintendent Michael Lovett in a message to parents had urged them to keep learning going at home, even when school is closed due to cold. "So far our winter has been more cold than long, but the effect is similar: despite White Bear Lake Area Schools' reputation for 'staying open no matter what,' we have joined other metro schools in recent closings."

Hand-wringing school officials around the state say they agonize over the decision about whether to cancel classed due to dangerous weather. The decisions spark debate among parents who are left scrambling for child care options.

Some Twitter users embraced the decision in White Bear Lake, although students might not have been pleased:

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