St. Paul students no longer will have bragging rights when it comes to winter toughness.
The district has revised its school-closing rules to call off classes if windchills are forecast to drop below -35 degrees — slightly warmer than the -40 degree threshold in place for 2014-15.
That previous threshold led to St. Paul students going to school one day earlier in 2014-15 when students had been excused in the Minneapolis and Anoka-Hennepin districts.
Toya Stewart Downey, a St. Paul district spokeswoman, said the change better aligns St. Paul with the National Weather Service threshold for issuing a windchill warning.
It also matches up better with Minneapolis, she said. That district considers calling off classes when windchill is forecast to hit -35 degrees or colder at 6:30 a.m. the day of class. Minneapolis tries to alert parents of a cancellation by 6 p.m. the day before, or by 5:30 a.m. the day classes are canceled.
St. Paul set out a year ago to make it easier for families to know when schools would be closed by adopting a “winter weather plan” that called for school to be canceled if a 6:30 p.m. forecast for 6 a.m. the next day predicted a windchill below -40 degrees or an air temperature below -25 degrees.
While the windchill rule is being softened, the air temperature qualifier remains the same.
The plan for the more traditional “snow days” is for the district to decide by 5 a.m. on a given day whether school will be canceled that day to due to heavy snow and/or icy conditions.