Early school dismissals due to heat - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Early school dismissals due to heat

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The temperature was taken Thursday morning inside a classroom at Washington Middle School in Dubuque.

It was 94.1 degrees. 

All students within the Dubuque Community School District were dismissed early for the second time this week because of the sweltering heat and humidity.

Students were sent home two hours early on Tuesday, also on Thursday. Although it was warm Wednesday, they attended a full day of classes. "Yesterday the high during the school day was 74 degrees, but the humidity was really dense. It made for a vary warm day but we made it through without any incidents. Today it's about ten degrees warmer and the sun is shining, so those two thing really amplify the effects," said Stan Rheingans, district superintendent.

About half of district students attend classes in buildings with air conditioning.

According to the district, they've had a handful of calls from concerned parents. They said the temperature outside matters most when deciding if they should dismiss early.

"Obviously I hear from both sides. I hear from parents who say why did you let them out early? I hear parents who say why didn't you let them out out early?" Rheingans said.

Officials said it's difficult for students to focus on learning in uncomfortable temperatures. It's also not safe.

So far this school year, there have been three heat days, causing them to dismiss early. One was in the fall, two have been in spring.

Rheingans said They are looking to add air conditioning to the schools that don't have them, but it's a 13-million dollars expense. He told KWWL News it will take some time. 

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