District remains in session despite snow storm conditions

Extreme weather impacts commute routes


Grace Farley

Senior Wilson Tamay Pineda walks through the snow into school April 16. Over the weekend St. Louis Park received roughly 17 inches of snow causing several surrounding districts to cancel school.

As senior Shoshana Altman drove to school this morning, she said her normal drive became dangerous due to the severe winter weather.

“Side streets closer to the school or in my neighborhood were terrible and terrifying. You don’t want to go too slow and get stuck in the snow, but if you go too fast you won’t be able to stop if some kid runs out into the street,” Altman said. “It would’ve been a good day to not drive.”

Over the weekend, St. Louis Park received roughly 17 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The district continued with normal schedules including other metro schools closing or having a delay.

According to Principal Scott Meyers, Superintendent Astein Osei is responsible for making decisions regarding school closings and late starts. Meyers said he believes the road conditions were one factor in today’s determination as well as the disruption late starts pose to the schedule of the school day.

“My guess is that the majority of the roads in St. Louis Park were in good shape so we had to have the school day run,” Meyers said. “I know this particular time there weren’t as many school districts around us that were canceling, so there’s a good number of schools that were still in session.”

Meyers said he did not observe an inordinate amount of absent teachers as a result of the weather.

“I had made an announcement earlier this morning because my concern was people weren’t here yet and if they were arriving late. I did walk through the building and a big number of teachers were on time for at least their first class,” Meyers said. “I would say less than 10 (absent teachers) would not stand out as anything out of the ordinary.”

Junior Finnegan Reddan said the snow conditions also delayed his arrival this morning.

“I was annoyed because I had to wake up at 6:30 this morning to shovel out my entire driveway and brush off my car and it took me 10 or 15 minutes to get here when it usually takes me five minutes,” Reddan said.

According to Meyers, students taking buses from Minneapolis were impacted the most.

“The Minneapolis roads were some of the worst and they also have more ground to cover than St. Louis Park, so I think that most of our late buses that were responding were ones that had longer routes,” Meyers said.

Reddan said he feels a late start would have provided a safer driving environment for students to arrive at school.

“I think even if there’s time to plow and the roads are in somewhat good conditions they can still be unsafe,” Reddan said. “Students shouldn’t have to rush or be late to school.”

Altman said she believes late starts provide many safety benefits to student drivers.

“This is my second winter driving, but for juniors here it’s their first year driving,” Altman said. “The delay gives people more time to get out and the city more time to clean the streets. That gives people time to avoid traffic, and with less traffic there’s less accidents.”