Updated: June 08, 2021 10:32 PM
Created: June 08, 2021 01:47 PM
St. Paul Public Schools announced Tuesday classes at all schools in the district are canceled due to hot weather.
The announcement states schools will be closed Wednesday through Friday, which is also the remainder of the school year.
Students will not transition to distance learning, according to SPPS, but will have the opportunity to turn in any remaining assignments. Schools will also remain open through the week and next Monday for students to pick up and drop off materials.
Athletics and graduation ceremonies will continue as planned, officials stated.
"We are very sorry to have to end the school year in this way," a statement from SPPS read. "We know how much students and staff look forward to this time of year. This is not how any of us wanted this school year to end. We know our families and staff have been through so much and appreciate all of your support this year."
Our buildings will remain open this week and on Monday, June 14, for students to pick up and drop off materials. School staff will be at buildings to receive assignments and complete end-of-year procedures.— Saint Paul Public Schools (@SPPS_News) June 8, 2021
Please visit https://t.co/4MCuiz4gzx for more information.
"An early start to summer — which is good and bad, right?" said Bree Mayer, a Chelsea Heights Elementary parent. "Thankfully, I have this week off. I thought about the parents right away who have jobs and for who this was a shock."
"Our principal just told us we are not having school for the next three days because of the heat, and we were very surprised," said Vivian Mayer, a third-grader. "I don't know, it was very sad."
Mayer added that Wednesday was supposed to be a picnic day.
St. Paul Public Schools' announcement comes a day after Minneapolis school officials announced 15 schools would switch to distance learning through Thursday.
Meanwhile, in the Anoka-Hennepin District, there are 11 schools with limited air conditioning. At those buildings, they are allowing for longer mask breaks throughout the day.
SPPS said the heat along with student health and safety were deciding factors.
"Two-thirds of St. Paul schools are not air-conditioned," said Kevin Burns, a spokesperson for SPPS. "We did open up the last couple of night, opened up our buildings to let in quote-unquote, cooler air. But with low temperatures in the 70s, that cooler air didn't really occur."
Burns said staffers tried all kinds of alternatives.
"We looked at changed schedules, maybe early dismissals, things like that, but with transportation and the size and scope of SPPS, it just wasn't practical," Burns said.
A total of 35,000 students are enrolled in St. Paul schools.
"So my boys are kind of sad that they didn't get to say goodbye to their friends and they don't get an official goodbye to their teachers," said parent Kim Rosauer.
And it all comes after an already tough year complicated by COVID-19.
"We didn't get an end to the last school year, now we don't get an end to this year," Rosauer added.
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