Heat prompts early dismissals, 1 district looking to add AC units to classroom

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Another day of high temperatures brings another day of concern for students without air conditioning in the classroom.

For two straight weeks schools have been letting students out early due to the heat. On Thursday, it was the most so far with over 90 different districts and schools announcing early dismissals.

“Like, really hot. Like sweating hot. Like, it’s disgusting,” said New Britain‘s Dasani Silver, as only a high school junior can.

When it is this hot, it can be tough to pay attention in class.

“I mean it all depends on what kind of learner you are,” said New Britain High School junior Denija Carter. “If you can learn inside that environment then no, but if you can’t then you’re just out of luck.”

“We’re talking about over 95 degrees in an elementary school classroom on the third floor at 7 o’clock in the morning,” said Mayor Erin Stewart (R – New Britain). “That’s tough.”

Tough enough that New Britain’s Mayor says it’s time to put in air conditioners. She says there are more than 300 classrooms in the city without air conditioning, and she has asked the school district to figure out whether they can add central air to those schools, or put in window units, whichever makes the most sense. 

“It’s going to be pricey, but I think that the school district and the city can come together and collaborate in a meaningful way to make this change and to really make sure our kids are learning in a good environment,” Mayor Stewart said.

As it is right now, New Britain, like so many other districts, has been letting the kids out early. For a list of early dismissals click here

“I like it because when you get out, it’s still really hot, so imagine staying in there any longer, it would be a hot mess,” said Silver.

Getting students in for even a few hours means these days do count towards the 180 needed in a school year, and will not use up any snow days. The downside is, the first few days of school have been a lot less productive than usual.

“Normally, at the beginning of the year we have full classes and we end up getting the class time, but now with all these half days, we’re not getting the beginning of the year class time that we would normally get and I feel like it’s going to delay everything,” said New Britain High School Senior Zachary Blanchard.

The good news for students, teachers and parents is that temperatures are supposed to be a lot lower when they head to class on Friday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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