The heat and school back in session


A new school year is here and so is the heat.  Thursday Bement Schools closed early due to the rising temperatures.

Each school has their own procedures and protocol they follow for when the weather gets hot. Some Decatur Public Schools have air conditioning, like the new high schools, but some don't, like Bement. And that's why Bement's decision to close early Thursday was made Wednesday.

The first week of school can be tough, but at Bement, "It's become unbearable," described School Superintendent Sheila Greenwood. "We don't have air conditioning in the classrooms for the kids."

The kids and staff are feeling the heat.

"It's hard to focus and everybody's like fighting for the seats closest to the fan," explained Senior Taylor Wegrich.


"I worked on the third floor today on some computers, I was just sitting in a chair, and sweat was dripping off my brow," described Dean of 6-12th graders Linda Taylor.

Superintendent Greenwood measured the third floor at 88 degrees Thursday.

"As it gets hotter the kids you can see all of a sudden all their heads on their hands," Taylor said.

So Bement Schools shut its doors early at 1:30 p.m.

"They're not able to concentrate," Greenwood said. "They're just worn out."

But school leaders making sure they're safe.

"We give them extra drink breaks and we really monitor them," she said. "We kind of back off on our outdoor activities."

Others schools follow similar procedures. Decatur Public Schools have a response plan that includes limiting activity and hydrating their students. Thursday DPS did not let students out early.

But back at Bement, "You're just thinking about how hot it is and just waiting to get home," Wegrich said.

The fans are blowing and windows are up so they can keep their doors open.

Looking ahead, Superintendent Greenwood is keeping a close eye on the forecast as temperatures are supposed to climb. She said she may have to close early again next week if temperatures continue to climb.  When the school has class until 1:30 p.m., that counts as a full day so it does not affect the calendar.

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