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Update: Many local districts to keep schools closed on Tuesday

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Across the state, school district officials are certainly huddling to decide whether to resume classes on Tuesday. Around the metro area, the three biggest school districts have elected to keep schools shuttered in the wake of another day when dangerously low temperatures are expected.

The Star Tribune reports that the Anoka-Hennepin district, the state's largest, has announced that it will remain closed on Tuesday. So has the Minneapolis school district, where the closure will cover all of the district's schools, programs and activities. That includes and Community Education and Mpls Kids, the district's before-and-after child care program. KSTP reports that the St. Paul, Roseville, Richfield, Osseo, Lakeville and Mounds View districts have also announced that they will keep schools closed on Tuesday. Elk River, Bloomington, Columbia Heights, Stillwater, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Robbinsdale and Forest Lake schools have also announced that Tuesday classes are cancelled.

The Winona,Northfield and Rochester districts have announced a two-hour late start on Tuesday.

KARE is updating the list of closures of both public and private schools. Parents should be sure to check with their local district's website. School leaders will be using e-mail, voice mail and texts to keep families updated.

The Associated Press reports that Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius informed local school leaders Monday that Gov. Mark Dayton won't call off classes statewide for a second day amid dangerously cold conditions. In a letter to districts, the education commissioner asked superintendents "...to be mindful about health hazards from exposures to the below-zero temperatures as they make decisions."

MPR News has a nonscientific poll asking whether schools should remain closed on Tuesday. By noon on Monday, 68 percent said yes, schools should remain closed, while 21 percent voted in the negative and 11 percent saying they weren't sure.

Monday was the first blanket closure of all public schools in 17 years as the state is gripped with an arctic blast of cold air.Last Friday, Gov. Dayton ordered all of the state's public schools to be closed on Monday. State law allows the governor to “authorize the commissioner of education to alter school schedules, curtail school activities, or order schools closed.” The decision was made Friday in an effort to give schools and parents time to prepare for the day off. WCCO noted that rural school districts where students are bussed long distances are often more inclined to close schools when temperatures are extreme, while losings in the metro are relatively rare.

A number of area businesses also closed in advance of the cold.

Patch reported that previously, Cassellius said that the decision to close schools on Tuesday would be up to individual districts, "unless something drastic changes."

On Sunday, the Star Tribune editorial board praised Dayton for his decision, noting that the newspaper supported former Gov. Arne Carlson when he arrived at the same decision during a dangerous cold snap. "As we said in 1994, closing schools when the cold becomes dangerous is “in keeping with the best of Minnesota’s winter tradition: When winter gets tough, tough Minnesotans get smart and take care of each other,'" the editorial said.

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