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ON HOLD: DMPS Still Deciding On Closing Monday

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With cold temperatures looming, several Iowa school districts have already canceled classes on Monday.

In the metro, districts are still waiting to make that call.

Officials with the Des Moines School District said they must make a decision on whether to cancel school by 6 a.m. Monday morning at the latest, but anticipate announcing the decision much sooner.

There isn't a specific temperature that must be reached for school to be called off.

District leaders say they collaborate with other districts and keep in mind students that have to ride the bus or walk.

"We know it's an inconvenience for families. They will have to make other arrangements for child care that day, they might have to plan around work. We know that it's a decision that has a huge ripple effect across the community,” said Phil Roeder with Des Moines Public Schools.

School closings strictly due to cold weather are rare.

The Des Moines school district hasn't canceled school because of the cold in five years, and has only done so three times in the past 40 years.


  • Sasha

    While I understand that cancelling causes a huge ‘ripple effect’ and that they are reluctant to cancel, this is an extreme case and it is ridiculous to think that they can’t make the decision official now. They will cancel. It is pretty much guaranteed. When the forecasters say that the temperature is a threat to life, etc. this is a no-brainer. Quit delaying the inevitable and just make the call schools.

  • shane kendrick

    agree with Sasha, and even if the schools don’t close I encourage all parents to seriously consider keeping your kids home anyway, one day of school is not worth risking a kids life, or fingers or toes.

  • iowagirl82

    JUST CLOSE. A huge portion of the population walks to school. It’s ridiculous to even think about staying open.

  • Natasha Smith

    #1, it takes all of 10 min of exposure with -30 and 5 MIN with -45 temps for frostbite to occur, most children do not have their faces completely covered so this is inevitably going to happen…i have seen what this does first hand and it is ugly, be prepared for plastic surgery and skin grafts…

    #2, old school buses cannot run in these temps SO you risk kids being stranded either waiting for buses to arrive (and never showing up) or buses breaking down along the route to school…

    #3, instead of giving parents adequate time (1-2 days) to make appropriate arrangements for their kids being off Monday, you force them to do that monday morning at 6? thanks so much….


    This isn’t about the welfare of our kids, it is about bureaucratic BS. No one wants to pull the trigger and call it off, they are afraid if the temp somehow doesn’t fall as low as predicted then they will face repercussions from their district..”the ripple effect”…..

    is it worth it if even 1 child ends up dying or seriously ill, loses fingers or toes or ends up scarred for life on their face from frostbite? I THINK NOT!!
    If you are worried about our children then MAKE THE CALL AND KEEP THEM SAFE!!!!

  • Jake selby

    I think they should close Tuesday for the after wind chills just to make sure the temp goes up and since a huge population walks it would be much safer to close for those who have no choice but to walk.

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