SaintsRiseUp Safe Return | Campus Reopening Updates

Severe Weather

The College of St. Scholastica will close if weather conditions present a danger to students and employees. Examples include summertime flooding or extreme heat, or wintertime extreme cold or hazardous driving conditions within a reasonable distance of the campus.  Since each weather event is unique, the College does not have a specific temperature, rainfall amount, wind speed or snowfall amount that determines closure. Notification is made through the College's Saints Alert emergency alert system, severe weather hotline (218 723-7099), website, Cor portal, and through the mass media.

Frequently asked questions

Why does the College wait so long to decide whether the Duluth campus will be open or closed?
The College announces whether the Duluth campus will be open or closed by 6:30 a.m. at latest. Usually notices go out earlier in the morning. The changeable nature of Duluth's weather means that deciding further in advance, such as the night before, can be problematic. It's the College's responsibility to be open; with half of our undergraduate students living on campus and most of the rest living nearby, our expectation is to be in session unless conditions are hazardous.

What if the College is open but I feel unsafe making the trip to campus?
Stay home, and contact your supervisor or instructor to let her/him know. The College encourages you to use your best judgment about your personal safety at all times.

Why does the Duluth campus sometimes remain open for business when Duluth schools close?
K-12 schools have a different set of standards. They are more likely to close for snow or cold weather events than area colleges and businesses, since they are concerned with protecting young children who must wait for a school bus or make a long walk to school.  Adults are able to make their own decisions regarding their safety, and taking this into account, the College will be open far more often than K-12 schools during severe weather. 

How is the decision made at campus locations outside of Duluth?
Each site's director makes the decision based upon local conditions.


I didn't get a Saints Alert message during the most recent severe weather closing. What's the problem?
Make sure that you're registered. Go to: If you show as being registered but still didn't receive an alert via text, phone call or email, contact Mike Turner at

How can I get up-to-date information on College Closures?

You can follow us on social media, via or on Twitter at @StScholastica for the latest updates.

Tornado and severe weather alerts

Links to current Duluth weather: NOAA |

1. Tornado Watch
A Tornado Watch means that probabilities are high that severe weather or a tornado could occur. The National Weather Service will issue a watch bulletin to local authorities as well as to the local radio and TV stations.

2. Tornado Warning
A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted in the area. The National Weather Service alerts all weather stations and local authorities. If a tornado is approaching, the warning will be signaled by a continuous sounding of emergency siren located on the roof of Tower Hall.

If campus Security is notified of severe weather, they will make the appropriate contacts.

3. Tornado Dangers

  1. An approaching cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible.
  2. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still.
  3. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

4. Severe Weather
When the emergency warning sirens sound, it is everyone's responsibility to go to the nearest designated shelter area.

Don't leave the shelter until you hear the "all-clear" signal.

Designated Shelter Areas:

Building: Area(s):
  1. Tower Hall
  1. Student Union Area
  2. Ground floor tunnel areas without windows
  1. Science Building
  1. First floor center hallways
  1. Burns Wellness Center/Reif
  1. Lower level hallway of the Reif
  2. Locker rooms
  1. Library/Chapel
  1. Ground floor tunnel areas away from windows
  1. Somers Hall/Suites
  1. Ground floor hallways away from windows
  1. Theater Building
  1. Lower lever area away from windows
  2. Tower Hall designated shelter areas
  1. Pine, Maple, Willow, Birch, Cedar Hall, Scanlon Hall & Kerst Hall Apartments
  1. Ground floor hallways
  2. Wellness Center/Reif or Tower Hall designated shelter areas