ARCTIC VORTEX: Bitter Cold Cancels Metro Schools
Snow and ice aren’t covering the roads, but kids got a day off from school anyways.
Nearly every metro school canceled class Monday citing cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills.
Friday afternoon, students neatly stacked their chairs on top of their desks.
Monday morning, they were still there.
At a time class would usually be in session at Walnut Street Elementary, no one even bothered to turn the lights on.
“We realize this has a huge ripple effect throughout the community when school is canceled,” said Phil Roeder with Des Moines Public Schools.
Snow and ice causing that ripple effect is nothing new, but cold by itself is.
Monday was just the fourth time in 40 years Des Moines schools have canceled strictly due to cold temperatures.
With the potential for 10,000 students waiting for the bus and thousands more walking, the district decided not to risk it.
“We’re required by state law to provide transportation by bus to students outside of 2-3 miles of school. That gives you a good idea of how long some students may be walking on any certain day,” said Roeder.
The district says it gave parents all the notice it could.
By noon Sunday, news of the cancellations spread across social media sites and the web.
“I think it was plenty of time. We already knew last night because she looked it up on the website,” said Lisa Crafton, a parent.
Unlike a typical care-free snow day, parks stayed empty and parents chose to hunker down at home with their kids.
For Des Moines second grader Kyla Crafton, that was just fine.
“I just want to play and watch movies,” said Crafton.
Des Moines school officials have decided to delay the start of school on Tuesday by two hours.
Several other Iowa schools are also delaying their start or closing Tuesday.