Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Too Cool for School...

actually, it may be too hot for school!

Mother Nature is definitely reminding us that it is still summer...as we just broke down and turned the A/C back on. A couple week ago, Champaign schools (as well as most other schools in the area) dismissed students early due to the heat. They haven't done this, at least, in the 6 years we've been at Unit 4. I felt like something was amiss here....

Although I highly support allowing the kids (and staff) to get out of those hot buildings...have you ever been in those schools on days like that? Its hot...I can't see how anyone gets anything done. However, I have 2 major problems with the issue. First, the policy is not exactly exact. One day they get out early, another, equally hot day, they don't. So, I wrote to the school board and our dedicated Superintendent Culver. I wanted them to set up a specific policy for heat-related closings, etc. I thought setting temperature guidelines might be a good idea and might give parents and staff an idea of when a school might dismiss or not.

I was told that they make the decision in advance based on the forecast. So, the inconsistencies happen because a day is hotter than its predicted to be (and they rather not dismiss early once the school day begins). I understand this point. However, in my opinion anything over 85F should warrant an early dismissal (a day predicted to by 88F is just as hot at a day predicted to 90F). Anyways....

My other beef is that some of the schools (mostly the balanced-calender (aka year-round) school) have A/C and thus did not dismiss early. I don't want to take away their educational time but that means that the other students now have fewer instructional hours than the A/C schools. So, I don't think they should dismiss them but this is a big point for future plans (e.g. referendum!!!).

Anyways. Will they get out early this week or next due to the heat...I doubt it (but who knows...maybe Judy Fraser could persuade them...I love my daughter coming home all sweaty and not so nice to smell).

3 comments:

Henny Penny said...

I can't believe that all schools don't have air conditioning here. I'm sure that all the schools in my home town have AC by now.

gwenna said...

I was wondering how the teachers at the A/C schools felt about having to teach longer than the other teachers. How does that work with a union? Something does need to be fixed...

lbotp said...

I agree with you about a coherent policy. Here's an idea ... why don't they start school later? It is obviously a lot cooler in late May/ early June then it is in late August/early September. Just saying.

My neighbor is a teacher at a school that doesn't have A/C. She bought her students bottled water and put it on ice in her classroom -- at her own expense -- to help allieviate the situation.