Early dismissals underway again
PHILADELPHIA - June 9, 2008 (WPVI) -- Several schools dismissed early because of the heat today.
All afterschool activities and programs in the Philadelphia public schools have been cancelled. All proffesional development is cancelled as well. If parents want more information, Philadelphia school official want them to call (215) 400-4636.
Action News found fewer than a third of the buildings in the Philadelphia School District are considered air conditioned. There are 300 such buildings - only 90 have air conditioning.
The school district would not say how hot it got inside classrooms today, but said early this morning temperatures were recorded as high as 80-degrees and above. That prompted the decision to shut things down midday.
Around lunchtime kids in Philadelphia Public and Parochial Schools poured out of their overheated school buildings.
Once out of there the quest for some was to stay cool. One group of kids found an operating spray park, while others found a hydrant to beat the heat.
With unseasonably hot weather in the forecast for tomorrow, the plan: Back to school in the morning with another after lunch dismissal for Philadelphia's 166,000 school kids.
Why have classes at all? Philadelphia School District Spokesman Fernando Gallard says, "We have time to do 2 or 3 hours of engagement. And also we have time to feed students. A lot of our students depend on our breakfast and lunch, and that's why we're dismissing after lunch."
So how to stay cool in sweltering classroom? We found two cousins that had a battery powered plan that worked for them - fans built into a spray bottle.
The Excessive Heat Advisory has been extended through Monday and into Tuesday night. The heat wave became official, when the temperature broke 90 degrees at 10 a.m. in Philadelphia.
Again, it's back to school tomorrow for Philadelphia Public and Parochial schools, with an early dismissal around lunch time.
local/state, john rawlins
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