Canceling school is a complicated decision that affects students, staff and families. Our schools provide students with a safe and stable place to learn. Some students rely on the school district for breakfast and lunch. Canceling school may cause some families hardships related to finding childcare. Canceling school is an exception and we do everything possible to keep schools open.
The primary criteria we consider when making a decision include:
The safety and well-being of students and staff
Severity of the weather (extreme cold, flooding, etc.)
Timing of weather (overnight, weekend, etc.)
The ability for buses and cars to travel safely
We continually monitor the forecast from the National Weather Service, and the superintendent meets with numerous administrators in order to make the best decision for students, staff and families. Staff members work throughout the evening and early morning each severe weather day to ensure that buses will run at or near schedule and that students will be safe. Transportation staff members work closely with bus vendors and Metro Transit to ensure the buses are ready for cold weather situations.
In the event that school is canceled due to severe weather, MPS makes every attempt to notify families as soon as possible.
Full-day school closure decisions will be made no later 6 p.m. the day before or 5:30 a.m. the day of if conditions have become more hazardous than expected overnight.
After-school and evening cancellation decisions affecting after-school activities, early childhood special education classes, evening activities and field trips will be made by 11 a.m. that day.
We notify families via:
Text messaging and automated phone calls
The MPS website and individual school websites
Mass media, including TV and radio
Social media (Facebook and Twitter)
Parents can help by making sure their contact information, as well as emergency contact information, is regularly updated with their child’s school.
Making the Decision
The chief executive officer makes a recommendation to the superintendent after consulting with the administrative team and other stakeholders as needed. The superintendent may consult with the superintendents from other metro school districts and the Minnesota Department of Education for additional perspective. The superintendent makes the final decision and communicates it to families and staff.
School is not canceled - Families should assume that classes are in session unless otherwise notified.
Cancel after-school activities - When conditions become severe during the day, MPS may cancel after-school activities. Every effort will be made to have notifications out by 11 a.m.
All after-school field trips and after-school student activities and events will be canceled unless specifically stated.
Minneapolis Kids before- and after-school child care will stay open until all children are picked up.
Athletic events will be canceled unless specifically stated.
Community Education and Adult Education events and classes will remain open unless specifically stated.
Adult meetings and programs will remain open unless specifically stated.
Outside events that have obtained permits to operate within MPS facilities will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Late start or early dismissal - These options are only used during emergencies because they have significant impact on transportation and child care. We will notify families as early as possible.
Cancel school - MPS may cancel school based on weather or travel conditions.
Cancellation is for all student classes pre-K-12, as well as early childhood programs and Transition Plus
All after-school field trips and after-school student activities and events will be canceled unless specifically stated
All student-based events sponsored by MPS or its schools will be canceled unless specifically stated
Minneapolis Kids before- and after-school child care will be canceled
Athletic events will be canceled unless specifically stated
Community Education and Adult Education events and classes will be canceled
Outside events that have obtained permits to operate within MPS facilities will be canceled unless specifically stated
Full closure of MPS buildings - In extreme conditions or due to large-scale damage, the superintendent may close all buildings and cancel all events.
MPS will likely cancel classes if the wind chill forecast for 6:30 a.m. the following day is -35° or colder, with winds of at least 5 to 10 miles per hour.
MPS will cancel classes if road conditions are such that travel becomes too hazardous for buses and cars. MPS will consider canceling classes if travel delays become so great that staff cannot reach the buildings in order to teach students or students will be out at bus stops for an excessive amount of time.
This may happen if it snows 6 inches or more in 12 hours, or 8 inches or more in 24 hours. Every winter storm is different, so it is possible that classes will still be held even if snowfall reaches these limits.
We may also close school if conditions approach blizzard criteria, even if snowfall amounts are lower.