UPDATED Tuesday, July 3, 2012--5:30p.m.
MADISON--"The rooms are air conditioned but they're still warm," said Evan Hoagland."I've been in the building and the halls are quite warm."
Hoagland's 11-year-old son is one of about 5,000 students enrolled in the Madison Metropolitan School District's summer school program. And all of them will be getting an extra long weekend."We've decided to close schools on July 5th and 6th Thursday and Friday this week due to the excessive heat warning until 10 o'clock Friday night," said Joe Gothard, an assistant superintendent for secondary schools with MMSD.
A main reason for that decision: the lack of air conditioning in the district's school buildings. "We have very few buildings that are air conditioned," said Gothard. "Some of our buildings have air conditioning in spots but not their entirety. It makes the learning environment obviously a very sticky situation in the heat and we made the decision....to best suit the needs of our families."
Gothard said it'll be up to staff to decide how to make up for any lost instruction from the extra two days off. "Whether that means speed up or decide what they cover and maybe take out some things that they would have covered, but I know that our staff will meet that challenge," he said.
But Hoagland thinks the decision to cancel could put some families in a tough spot. "It's going to make it real hard for some parents who don't have babysitters and expect their kids to be at school so they can be at work," he said. "Won't be a problem for me I can take care of him because I'm home all the time, but it's still going to be, I would rather he was learning stuff at school because he needs to have the education."
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2012 --- 12:53 p.m.
Press Release from MMSD:
The Madison Metropolitan School District announced today that it will close all summer programs on Thursday, July 5 and Friday, July 6 due to excessive heat warnings. Summer programs are also closed for the July 4 holiday. Schools will open again on Monday, July 9.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning until Friday at 10pm. Due to the lack of consistent air conditioning in buildings that house summer programs, the district made the decision to close all programs to ensure the safety of students and staff.
This includes all summer school programs, enrichment courses, extended school year (ESY) and afternoon Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR) programs. MSCR aquatic programs and swim classes will continue, but all other youth and adult MSCR programs are canceled.
MSCR also offers open swim opportunities that will continue. For more information, visit mscr.org.
In addition, because school programs are closed, there will be no breakfast or lunch food services provided for the rest of the week.
Daycare programs housed at MMSD sites will have drop-off and pick-up service only at the MMSD schools. Families should contact their daycare providers for specific information.