Are school weather closures cutting classroom hours? - FOX 35 News Orlando

Are school weather closures cutting classroom hours?

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  • SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Minnesota schools mum on Monday decisions

    SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Minnesota schools mum on Monday decisions

    Friday, January 24 2014 7:38 AM EST2014-01-24 12:38:45 GMT
    With more subzero temperatures in the forecast, many parents are wondering if they should plan to make child care arrangements in case schools close again -- but officials are keeping quiet for now.
    With more subzero temperatures in the forecast, many parents are wondering if they should plan to make child care arrangements in case schools close again -- but officials are keeping quiet for now.
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The cold temperatures gave students across the metro another day off on Thursday, making for yet another child care headache for parents -- but what will all the winter days off mean at the end of the school year?

Lynnhurst Community Center is one of many Minneapolis safe houses where kids can go on cold days. On Thursday, more than 40 children were there playing games while their parents know they were safe -- but the number of days off could mean that some school districts are sacrificing valuable teaching hours.

In fact, another day of shuttered schools could put pressure on some districts to make up class time at the end of the year.

"Calendar decisions and decisions about closing are really up to local authorities -- the superintendents and the administrations of each school district make those decisions in most instances," Charlene Biner, chief of staff at the Minnesota Department of Education, said.

The state does not hold school districts to a mandatory number of school days. Instead, it's all based on hours. Students in grades 7 through 12 need to put in 1,020 hours each year while first grade through sixth must have 935 hours of instruction.

Biner told Fox 9 News most schools have a pretty significant time cushion when it comes to class cancellations, but the forecast indicates another subzero chill could set in on Monday and Tuesday. If that's the case, officials with Minneapolis Parks and Recreations say the community centers will be open once more.

Earlier this month, Gov. Mark Dayton called off school due to record low temperatures in the forecast; however, the Department of Education says that's not likely to happen again.

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