Local Schools Take Measures to Deal with Extreme Heat
September 04, 2018 11:17 AM
by Geoff Rushton
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With temperatures expected to be near or above 90 degrees through Thursday, local school districts are taking steps for schools without building-wide air conditioning.

Philipsburg-Osceola schools will have an early dismissal on Tuesday with secondary students being sent home at noon and elementary students at 1 p.m.

Superintendent Gregg Paladina wrote in a message on the district's website that the heat index is forecasted to be above 95 degrees, which is in the caution zone for heat disorders. He said that the district will continue to monitor temperatures for the rest of the week and also will provide cooling zones for the senior high school and Osceola Mills Elementary, both of which do not have air conditioning.

At Bellefonte Area School District, Superintendent Michelle Saylor wrote in a message to parents that the district will consider early dismissal for elementary students if regular procedures for cooling cannot accommodate buildings without air conditioning and the heat index reaches the benchmark of 93-95 degrees. The middle school and high school have air conditioning.

"Due to transportation logistics, all elementary students would be dismissed early, not just our Bellefonte Elementary and Benner Elementary students," Saylor wrote. "Secondary students would be dismissed at their regularly scheduled time.  As this would be an early dismissal it would count as a full day and not require a makeup day."

Saylor said that parents would likely be notified between 10:30-11:30 a.m. if there would be an early dismissal.

For State College Area School District, students at elementary schools without air conditioning will be spending part of the day at middle schools through Thursday.

"At our elementary schools without air conditioning, we will utilize our middle schools’ air-conditioned spaces, such as libraries, cafeterias and auditoriums, during the afternoons at the hottest point of the day," Superintendent Bob O'Donnell wrote in a message to parents.

From 12:45 to 2:30 p.m., students and faculty at Corl Street and Radio Park elementary schools will go to Park Forest Middle School, and Lemont/Houserville students and faculty will move to Mount Nittany Middle School. End-of-day dismissal will occur at home elementary schools.

For the high school's north building, afternoon music classes are being moved to the food court in the new south building. The Fairmount Building has several air conditioned rooms and a basement where temperatures are cooler.

The district will have cold water on ice at each of the schools. 

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