Schools Dismiss Early Due to Heat Concerns

STATELINE (WIFR) – Nine local school districts are dismissing students early today out of concern for their safety.

Amboy, Aquin Catholic Schools, Forestville Valley, Freeport, Lena-Winslow, Pearl City, Steward, and Stockton schools will be dismissing early tomorrow as well. Oregon Schools will make the decision on whether or not to release early by 11 a.m. tomorrow. We’ll keep you posted if any more districts get added to the list.

It’s always a tough call for districts to make, whether or not to dismiss students early due to weather concerns. So to get a better idea of what goes into the decision making process, we sent out 23 News Weekend Meteorologist, Brian Doogs.

“Certainly going less hours is not a great thing and not a habit we want to make here, but we have to look at the safety of the kids.”
Lena School District Superintendent, Tom Chiles made the call last night to send hundreds of kids home early from school because of the intense heat. He says students shouldn’t have to suffer in classrooms without air conditioning.

“There is no science to it or perfect equation. You have to kind of make some judgments. Where it becomes a bit too much for some to handle especially younger kids,” Chiles said.

Those younger kids seem to be having the most trouble with the high temperatures. Farther east, Freeport School District Nurse Mona Bus says she’s been busy all morning.

“Stomach aches, headaches, nausea. They have felt warm to touch and are sweating. I have seen those coming in being dehydrated and not drinking enough water,” said Bus.

The schools are offering more time for water breaks and watching all the children very closely. Especially since a lot of the kids are too young to know when to take a break.

“I don’t think they know when to slow down and I don’t thinkj they understand the symptoms they’re feeling. Plus, the smaller you are the faster you can get dehydrated,” said Freeport School District nurse Jill Watson.

The nurses also say they are really keeping an eye on the younger children as they can quickly go from heat exhaustion to heat stroke.

At home, the school districts are really wanting the kids to drink plenty of water tonight and early tomorrow. They are also recommending kids stay away from sugary drinks and salty foods.

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