High Temps Keep Students Out Of Classrooms

The skyrocketing temperatures kept students in the Albany School District out of their classrooms on Tuesday.

All 450 students in the Albany School District are housed in one building, but only part of it has air conditioning. The district dismissed school early on Tuesday due to the heat.

“Most of our classes are upstairs. Study hall is downstairs, but it’s really hot upstairs,” said fifth-grader Jeb Beck.

Superintendent Stephen Guenther said it was unsafe to keep the students in the blazing classrooms all day.

“For us it was a matter of safety — to get them home; get them to where they can be under air conditioning and folks can take care of them. And it’s also about value, make the most out of the time they’re here and get them home rather than trying to squeeze another couple of hours out of the day,” Guenther said.

School officials decided to dismiss students 45 minutes early Tuesday.

“I would guess by the end of the day we’ll have some rooms hit 100 degrees, plus with the humidity, easily the 90s. It’s going to be ugly,” Guenther said.

He said the heat wave is hitting at a bad time for the district because seniors are trying to finish up their final exams.

“To make the testing more valid we’re moving the testing downstairs to the rooms with air conditioning,” Guenther said.

Guenther said the district has adjusted the exam schedule. Those scheduled for Wednesday afternoon will now be moved to Thursday, which is the last day of school. Teachers are also giving the students extra water breaks to help them stay hydrated.

Most students already have plans for their half day of classes on Wednesday.

“I’m going swimming,” said sixth-grader Zach Schiem.

“I’m going home in the air conditioning,” said eighth-grader Liz Schroeder.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin Emergency Management officials are reminding residents to pay attention to heat safety issues.

They are reminding people to never keep children or pets in hot cars. Officials said people should avoid strenuous work outdoors and stay hydrated. If people start feeling the physical effects of heat stroke, they should seek help immediately, officials said.

If a person stops sweating, it’s a sign of heat stroke, which can turn deadly quickly. Officials said that to learn more about heat stroke warning signs and heat safety tips, go to readywisconsin.wi.gov.

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For the latest weather information, visit Channel 3000’s Weather section.