MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - School districts from the Twin Cities to St. Cloud canceled classes in anticipation of a winter storm that could bring up to 8 inches of snow to the region.
Minneapolis, St. Paul, Anoka-Hennepin and St. Cloud are among school districts that closed Monday because of dangerous road conditions expected later in the day.
"I'm sure there's a lot of parents wondering - I look outside, it's not snowing, it's not doing anything," said Gary Amoroso, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators, and a former Superintendent.
Today, there were more than 500 closings all over the state. Yet, most of the day, at least in the Twin Cities, there wasn't much snow.
"If any decision put knots in my stomach it was this decision," said Amoroso.
So, what goes into that decision?
"It's not just about can we get the kids into school in the morning. But, it's also what are we going to be in a position at 3:00, 4:00 or later, co-curriculars and at 6:00 or whatever to be able to get the kids home safely," said Amoroso.
Superintendents are usually up most of the night, constantly talking with their bus operators, their local public works to figure out when roads will be cleared, and with other Superintendents in the area to see what they're doing.
"You just make the best decision you can with the information you have, always knowing your number one priority is the safety of those students," said Amoroso.
And, sometimes, like Sunday night, that information causes schools to plan ahead.
So, why do district's cancel school and activities the night before?
"If you are in a position that you have high confidence that there is going to be a snow event that would cause you not to have the students in school, it's best to make that decision - if you can - earlier, which then allows parents - who, at times have daycare issues for their children - to make arrangements," said Amoroso.
Of course, every district is different because of its size, location, and where students live. And, the same goes for the weather because, as we know, every event is unique.