Principal: We take steps to protect students from cold - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Principal: We take steps to protect students from cold


LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW) – Dangerously low temperatures and even lower wind chills have Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton closing all K-12 public schools Monday.

He made the decision Friday afternoon.

It's not often the governor makes an executive decision like this.

In the last 25 years, the Minnesota governor has chosen to close schools 3 times: in 1994, 1996 and 1997, according to Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.

She listed safety and a "historic weather pattern" as the reasons for the closings.

La Crescent-Hokah Elementary School is waving a red flag.

It's a sign it's too cold to play outside, and come Monday, too cold to go to school.

"All those bodies waiting for the busses in the morning or going home after school, and in a lot of ways is helps as some relief," said Principal Jay Woller of the school closings.

When school is canceled, it's to keep the students safe," Woller said.

Students who walk to school can have as much as a mile to travel. When the wind chill is below zero, the kids have indoor recess," he said.

"You know, it's been a cold December. So we've probably been inside for recess maybe seven or so times," Woller added.

"Children especially are more susceptible to cold and extreme cold just because they basically lose heat faster than adults," said Kim Lombard, trauma and injury prevention coordinator for Gundersen Health System.

According to Lombard, if your children are going out in the cold, dress them in multiple layers, cover their heads, and limit the amount of time they're outside.

"They want to play outside and have fun and they might not be as aware of the cold weather as an adult," Lombard said.

That's why principals, like Woller, check the weather multiple times a day.

"You know frost bite and some of those safety concerns outside," he said.

They make sure frost bite and hypothermia are just a concern, not a reality.

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