St. Paul Public Schools ends school year early due to heat wave

St. Paul Public Schools says its school year is over due to a heat wave in the region and will not make students switch to distance learning.

The school year was scheduled to come to a close Friday, but St. Paul Public Schools truncated their calendar due to a Twin Cities heat wave expected to last through the week. 

While they will not switch to distance learning to finish the curriculum, students will be able to turn in assignments. The buildings will be open this week and on Monday, June 14 so students can pick up and drop off those materials. 

"Given the fact that two-thirds of the buildings are not air conditioned, we felt this was the best - although difficult - decision to make," said Kevin Burns, spokesperson for St. Paul Public Schools.

The St. Paul Teacher's Union said that while it fully supports the decision, the short notice caught everyone off guard, with some students not learning their school year was over until after they got home.

"They don’t have daycare, they don’t have plans for the next three days… it was really a surprise to everyone that this was going to happen," said Leah Vandassor, President-Elect of the St. Paul Federation of Educators.

The union says it's been pushing for facility upgrades in the buildings for a while.

All graduation and athletics ceremonies will continue as scheduled, the district says. 

In a release, the district said the following: 

We are very sorry to have to end the school year in this way. We know how much students and staff look forward to this time of year. This is not how any of us wanted this school year to end. We know our families and staff have been through so much and appreciate all of your support this year.

Minneapolis Public Schools says 15 of its buildings shifted to distance learning this week due to the heat wave.