Metz: Weather cancellations will not impact calendar

Seniors may not need to make up missed days

Ivy Kaplan

After many years since Park’s last snow day, students finally received their wish as the district closed schools Jan. 6 and 7 because of extreme winter temperatures.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced Jan. 3 all Minnesota public schools would be closed the following Monday, as the state experienced temperatures reaching -30 degrees and wind chills as low as -50 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

In addition to the mandated closing on Monday, Superintendent Rob Metz decided to extend the vacation by closing schools Jan. 7 as the cold weather trends continued.

“It was decided by me and all superintendents after (discussing the) pros and cons. We decided together,” Metz said.

Metz said he decided students should remain at home based on the frigid temperatures, exposure to the weather when waiting outside for buses and the possibility of late buses.

Some students have questioned whether or not the days will need to be made up, particularly for seniors who have three fewer days than the rest of the grade levels.

Despite this, Metz said at the moment extending the school day requirement will not be necessary.

“The state requires that seniors attend 1,120 hours of school,” Metz said. “We have just gone back and checked and seen that our seniors do meet that requirement.”

Many students enjoyed having the extra time off before transitioning back to school after two weeks of winter break.

Sophomore Allison Cramer said she enjoyed the break and took advantage of the additional cancelled days.

“It was definitely nice,” Cramer said. “It gave us more time to relax and more time to get work done.”

Sophomore Arfat Jeilani said he agreed and found the added days off as a bonus to his break.

“It was really cool. I enjoyed it, I had work to do that I hadn’t done; so I said ‘You know these extra two days I can do it,’”Jeilani said.

In addition to students, some teachers were glad when school was cancelled.

English teacher Rosalyn Korst said she believed it was a good decision to ensure the safety of students and staff.

“I was very pleased on Friday when the governor came on early enough in the day to alert parents to the closing on Monday. I think it’s really critical when it gets that cold,” Korst said. “School curriculum has to come second at that point to personal safety.”

However, despite the benefits and positive reactions, these additional break days may have resulting consequences.

With finals quickly approaching, teachers and students are now dealing with less time to complete their agendas for the rest of the semester.

“When school closed the second day, once again I thought excellent move and then I started getting nervous, because we’re right in the middle of IOP’s (individual oral presentations) and we had a perfect schedule set up starting on the Monday of closure right through the final exam day.” Korst said. “It sent me into recovery mode, recovering time that we had lost.”

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