High heat prompts early dismissal for some Tipp City schools

Local News

TIPP CITY, Ohio (WDTN) – As the heat soars into the 90s, two elementary schools in Tipp City have early released two days this week because their buildings do not have air conditioning.

Teachers, staff, and the superintendent said they do send out a one-call the night before to alert the parents of the early dismissal, but said say this really disrupts the learning environment for these young kids.

It comes after a school levy failed by about 200 votes that would have built a new air conditioned building, so teachers at Nevin Coppock and Broadway elementary are getting creative.

“We do our best to take water bottle breaks, and Popsicle breaks,” said Kari Hake, a kindergarten teacher at Nevin Coppock. “We also teach without the lights to make it feel like it might be cooler in here, and use fans but that affects how we can teach, what volume we have to use, and what the kids can hear.

Mr. Galen Gingerich is the principal at Nevin Coppock and the former principal at Broadway.

He said they open some windows to allow circulation, but can not open any doors for safety precautions.

When asked, he said it’s not feasible to put in central air as the buildings have other issues related to their age.

He said they know it’s an imposition to parents who have to adjust their work schedule or find a caregiver on these early dismissal days, but everyone said the ones who really hurt are the children who lose valuable education time.

“Parents are to be seen before we dismiss the students off the buses,” said Gingerich. “Thursday there were a few kids that had to come back to the building because no one was out and we made sure parents came to get them here.”

But the superintendent, Dr. Gretta Kumpf, said they thoroughly study heat and humidity levels and do a walk through at the schools on these steamy days before giving the go ahead.

“We also look at how our students and staff are holding up,” said Kumpf. “And we touch base with the school nurses to see how many are being sent down because they’re feeling the extent of the heat.”

Dr. Kumpf said they are going to the voters again with a bond issue as their facilities continue to be one of their main focuses, but they are still deciding when that would be and what it would look like.

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