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Sioux Falls School District Not Rushing To Cancel Monday's Classes

January 3, 2014, 5:04 PM by Leland Steva

Sioux Falls School District Not Rushing To Cancel Monday's Classes

Some South Dakota students will have to wait to find out whether they'll need to bundle up and head to class.

A spokesman for Governor Dennis Daugaard says the decision will be left to individual districts, since temperatures can vary widely throughout the state. 

The old saying is if you don't like the weather in South Dakota, wait ten minutes. Sioux Falls School District officials know that sometimes forecasts change. That's why administrators are careful not to rush when it comes to deciding whether or not to cancel classes.

The kids might be enjoying the outdoors today, but they'll be inside if the bitterly cold temperatures hit on Monday.

Their parents will have to wait a couple more days to find out whether students will be inside their homes or at school for the start of next week.

"Sunday evening, early evening, we'll get the final forecast from the weather service, and then we'll get the word out in early evening to parents if school is going to be cancelled," Sioux Falls School District Business Manager Todd Vik said.

Vik says that way, parents will still have enough time to come up with a backup plan for child care, if need be.
The decision is based on student safety.

"We look at what the wind chill's going to be relative to how fast you can get frostbite, and usually you look at that ten minute area and if it's going to be around the time kids are going to school, then we typically call school off," Vik said.

At least one South Dakota school has already made the decision to close on Monday, and Minnesota's Governor has cancelled classes across the state.

"I'm not surprised, different entities have different procedures but ours is to look at it the evening before," Vik said.

That procedure has worked well for the Sioux Falls School District for years, which is why school officials don't expect to change their policy now.

"The cold weather we think we're pretty accurate making the call the evening before, but two days out, three days out, we've haven't really contemplated that," Vik said.

Sioux Falls Schools average about one cancellation a year.

Last year was an exception, however, not only were temperatures cold enough to cancel classes at the end of January, but Sioux Falls students also stayed home for three days because of the April ice storm.

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