With the heat index at stifling levels on Monday, Holyoke public schools will close early for the day so students can find a more comfortable place to beat the heat instead of dangerously hot buildings.
On Sunday afternoon, Holyoke public schools superintendent Dr. Stephen Szrike alerted students and parents that they would dismiss schools on Monday three hours early.
Dr. Szrike spoke to Western Mass News Sunday evening saying he decided to dismiss for students' safety, and well being.
The eleven schools they have are mostly old and many don't have air conditioning.
He said even on a day that isn't as hot as Monday's forecast is incredibly hot.
"It's hard for students to learn," stated Dr. Szrike. "To learn in an environment that is that uncomfortable. These (projected) levels are much higher than average for this time of year in this part of the country. The teachers can't teach in that kind of environment and the students can't learn."
Dr. Szrike says that the city's splash parks will be open so that students can go there to keep cool.
He's asking parents to make sure their students are well hydrated before they start their day Monday.
Lunch will be served before the students are sent home for the day.
Part of the reason they decided to go with the half-day, because the high schools are already in finals week and have an abbreviated schedule, meaning just the younger students are changing their days.
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