Early Dismissal for Heat Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do we cancel school due to heat?

    All three high schools and two of our middle schools are only partially air conditioned, which allows parts of the schools to become extremely hot. If there are several days of heat and humidity in a row, the schools often do not have a chance to cool down at night and may become progressively hotter as the week continues.

    How do we make the decision to cancel school due to heat?

    Building and district administrators monitor the schools closely, regularly checking temperatures in the buildings without air conditioning. Although it may not seem that hot outside, the buildings may be very hot and humid, especially on the top floors. If there are several days of heat and humidity in a row, the schools often do not have a chance to cool down at night and may become progressively hotter as the week continues.

    Why do we do early outs? Do two hours make a difference?

    Typically, the hottest part of the day is late afternoon, and the school may continue to heat up as the day goes on. Letting out early still allows us to provide lunch for students while avoiding the hottest part of the day.

    Why do we still have activities if school has been let out?

    The district follows MSHSAA guidelines for activities, which do not always match up with the process we use for calling off school. Outdoor and indoor conditions are not always identical, and athletes have been through conditioning to allow them to handle the heat during practice. If you have questions or concerns, please talk to your student's coach.

    My school has air conditioning. Why is it being cancelled?

    Due to busing, at this time it may be necessary to cancel school for the entire district if we have to cancel for heat.

    Didn't we pass a bond a few years ago to air condition schools?

    Yes. In 2012, we passed a bond to build two new schools and air condition all of the elementary schools. We completed that goal in 2016. Additionally, we were able to air condition two middle schools using a portion of that money, as well as other school district funds. Unfortunately, the bond did not include funding for the remaining middle schools and high schools.

    How do we inform parents when we will cancel school due to heat?

    We will make the decision before noon, and we will inform parents using our parent call system, the website and social media, as well as alerting the local media.

    Will we have to make up the time for a heat day?

    An early dismissal for heat will count toward our built-in inclement weather days. If we exceed the maximum number of days, we will need to make up those hours.

    I am an employee. Will I still need to work if school is cancelled due to heat?

    Please refer to our inclement weather policy. Additionally, we will provide guidance to staff in an all-staff e-mail as necessary.