Columbia Schools Outline Heat Plan

7 years 9 months 1 week ago Friday, August 13 2010 Aug 13, 2010 Friday, August 13, 2010 6:32:24 PM CDT August 13, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools discussed plans Friday to release students in non-air conditioned schools early when temperatures rise as high as they are now. Eight schools in the Columbia School District lack complete air conditioning. With classes starting on August 19, the district is bracing for the worst in those schools.

When heat indexes reach 100 degrees, or when school officials otherwise determine, the policy will go into effect at Jefferson Junior High and the other affected schools. Temperatures Friday reached ninety degrees in classrooms before lunch time. With one-third of Jeff Junior's classrooms lacking air conditioning, scorching temperatures would end classes there 11:30 am.

Principal Greg Caine said that Jefferson Junior has prepared as best as it can. "We have several fans in every room, trying to move the air. Obviously, we open windows and try to get those open as early as possible to get the heat out and some fresh air in early." Caine said he is now allowing students to carry water bottles.

Kerry Maggard, parent of a Jefferson Junior High School student, believes the district will do what it sees fit. "I would definitely trust the administration to do what's best for the kids," states Maggard. "And if that means going to half days for for the first few days until the weather breaks, then I'd sure be in support of that."

To see if a school will be closing earlier than expected due to heat related issues, check out our Links and Numbers section on hot weather days.

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