MEDINA — With extreme heat in today’s forecast, Medina Schools Superintendent Aaron Sable said the district canceled classes at three schools.
Claggett Middle School, along with Sidney Fenn and Ella Canavan elementary schools, will be closed today because they do not have central air conditioning. The schools are only partially air conditioned with some window units.
Other schools in the Medina district will be open today, and no other Medina County districts announced closings because of the heat.
The National Weather Service forecast today calls for sun, a high near 91 and heat-index values as high as 98 degrees.
Sable said he spoke with several parents and staff at the affected schools Tuesday before making the decision to cancel classes.
With temperatures pushing toward 90 degrees Tuesday, school principals tried to make the day manageable for students with more water stations and fans. Students also were rotated to areas of the schools with better air conditioning.
“Fenn was the most challenged with its temperatures,” Sable said, noting he visited Fenn after school was dismissed Tuesday to measure the temperature.
He said the temperature ranged from 80-90 degrees and hovered around
85 degrees with humidity of about 65 percent. One corner room in the school was about 90 degrees.
Of the three schools that will be closed, he said Claggett is the “best situation.”
They have portable air conditioning units in many of the classrooms, which keeps much of the school cool.
“It’s more manageable,” he said.
He said there were as many as 100 cancellations around the state Tuesday due to the temperature and heat index, many north of the Medina County border.
“I did have to work through the decision process,” Sable said of canceling classes.
He said the situation is similar to what the district faces when it’s hit with snow, ice and cold temperatures.
“It’s like calling snow days,” Sable said.
He said he encourages parents to make the best decision for their children at the other elementary and middle schools. If they decide to keep their children home because of the heat, they will be excused absences.
“We’re making considerations for the masses,” Sable said.
He said he spoke to veteran teachers in the district, who told him they didn’t remember school being closed for extreme heat — at least not in recent memory.