"School officials need to consider the safety of their students as they travel to and from school, as well as providing a warm, safe classroom environment," Melmer said.
He encourages school leaders to take necessary steps to prevent damage to their buildings. If buildings cannot be adequately heated, water systems should be drained.
The state recognizes that schools are required to be in session for a minimum number of hours each school year. At this time, schools should focus their energy on the safety of their�students, rather than focusing on the minimum hours requirement. The Department of Education will work with districts as needed on this issue, recognizing that we are just beginning the winter storm season.
All school districts across the state have been asked to call (605) 773-3231 � the state's emergency response number � to communicate any major challenges they may be facing.