Heat causes some Miami Valley schools to dismiss students early

Miami Valley News

TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) – Multiple schools in the Miami Valley are releasing students early this week because of high temperatures and hot buildings.

Even before noon, classrooms inside Broadway Elementary School in Tipp City were already at 90 degrees.

“We are doing everything we can to keep em cool,” Broadway Elementary School Principal Tina Smith said.

Broadway and Nevin Coppock Elementary Schools are releasing students early Tuesday through Friday.

Windows are open and fans are on in the school buildings, and parents donated popsicles and water to help cool students off throughout the day.

“Teachers are utilizing space outside and our cooler spaces in the building, but most of our building is not air conditioning, so it makes it difficult for students’ focus and their learning,” Smith said.

Fairborn City Schools is releasing students early all week at the intermediate and middle schools.

“I watch the weather report very closely, look and see the temperature, and like I said, the heat index, and I walk the buildings every day,” Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Gene Lolli said.

COVID-19 protocols also factored into making that call in Fairborn.

“Students wearing masks, that makes matters a little worse, but I think it’s necessary that we at least get them out some part of the afternoon,” Lolli said.

Troy City Schools is also dismissing all of their students early on Tuesday and Wednesday.

All of the buildings affected don’t have air conditioning.

State Sen. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) has proposed legislation in the past that would prioritize school construction funding for buildings that need air conditioning.

“Until we solve this problem, that will continue to happen, and learning will continue to be interrupted and our children will continue to suffer,” Antani said. “My goal is to make sure that every school in Ohio has air conditioning, and quite frankly, it’s unacceptable that we don’t. It’s not the 1950s anymore, it’s the 2020s.”

Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said what it comes down to is the age of the buildings.

“They don’t have the electrical capacity or duct work to just add air conditioning,” Piper said.

Bond issues to build new schools in the district haven’t passed, Piper said state funding would be the key.

“That would certainly reduce the local cost of our buildings, and I think our voters would be more likely to approve something that had state funding,” Piper said.

All school districts said they would continue to keep an eye on the forecast to make decisions about early dismissal due to heat as needed.

These school districts later confirmed that students will also be dismissed early:

West Carrollton Schools announced Tuesday evening that students will be dismissed two hours early on Wednesday and Thursday — however — they still plan to serve breakfast and lunch. Students will arrive home at their afternoon bus stop two hours early.

Jefferson Township Local School District has also opted to dismiss students two hours early Wednesday through Friday due to do extreme temperatures.

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