Clark County schools dismiss early again because of heat

3 districts have ended classes early on 4 days so far.

Unmatchted coverage

The Springfield News-Sun is committed to covering important education issues in Clark and Champaing County.

Three Clark County schools again dismissed students early because of hot temperatures in school buildings.

School officials at Greenon Local Schools, Clark-Shawnee Local Schools and Southeastern Local Schools are hopeful that Thursday will be the last day of early dismissals because of heat.

“It is looking like the temperatures may drop, and it looks like there will be a rain to cool off some,” said Clark-Shawnee Superintendent Gregg Morris. “Everyday we go, we hope will be the last day of early dismissals.”

The school districts have released students early multiple times this school year, citing excessive heat in the school buildings. It is the fourth time Clark-Shawnee has dismissed 90 minutes early and the fourth time Southeastern and Greenon have dismissed two hours early.

The school superintendents said they are not overly-concerned about the prospect of making up days because the schools scheduled more classroom hours than required by Ohio.

“I think because we are early enough in the year, we will be alright and we are over the hours needed, so in that respect there is plenty of time for education,” said Greenon Superintendent Brad Silvus.

Silvus said dismissing early so often is not good for a learning environment, but also said it is tough for students to focus in excessively hot classrooms.

Storm Center 7 meteorologists had expected highs in the upper 80s Thursday, but with high humidity.

Southeastern Superintendent David Shea said temperatures inside school buildings are often hotter than the outside air.

“You make those decisions based on the day and what is best for the kids,” Shea said of dismissing students early. “We have kids who have asthma and inhalers. When you see those kids struggling, you want to do everything you can to help.”

Storm Center 7 forecasts have predicted a warmer than normal September. Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said global patterns such as the North Atlantic oscillation have caused temperatures to rise.

“Extended outlooks can often times be difficult, but the latest pattern trends are leaning towards an unseasonably warm and above normal start to September,” Vrydaghs said. “Global patterns are projected to enter a phase that would bring warmer weather to the Miami Valley.”

The three local school districts were not the only school districts in the state who did not have a full day of classes Thursday. According to media reports, 23 Cleveland school districts and several other Northeast Ohio districts closed school on Thursday due to the excessive heat and the lack of cooling in the schools.