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September 2023: Philadelphia Schools Closed Early Due To Extreme Heat

"Some schools in the Philadelphia School District and schools in surrounding areas will be dismissed early during the first week of school due to the extreme heat. The Philadelphia schools impacted are those that do not have strong adequate air conditioning or no air conditioning at all, according to the school district. From Tuesday, Sept. 5, to Wednesday, Sept. 6, students in Philly schools will be released on an early dismissal schedule. The school district laid out which schools are impacted and what time classes will be dismissed."

Penn School Closure

Heat wave pushed temperatures into the 90s.


Pennsylvania has seen an increase in days with temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or greater as a result of climate change. Pennsylvania’s statewide average temperature has risen nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. Rising temperatures, in addition to old and outdated infrastructure, create unsafe learning environments for our children and educators. Across Pennsylvania when students are out of school, entire families–and the school services they rely on–are negatively impacted. Here are recent examples of how extreme heat in Pennsylvania has caused extreme absence

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Parent Doris Leavy: “Kids can have a heat stroke in school if it's too hot, There's no air circulation or they don't have good water fountains.”

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Leavy: “I might have to take off of work, I feel like we're just starting to get back to the norm, so now the kids have to come home early because of the heat. It's kind of frustrating.”

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Grandparent Conchetta McClary: “It's very hard to function because with heat like that it makes you tired, it makes you restless, and you'll be irritated.”

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Philadelphia School District Statement: “Exposure to excessive heat can cause heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. In extreme heat, the District encourages families to please remember to keep their children hydrated and dressed in light-colored and lightweight clothing, and be sure they wear sunscreen.”

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June 2023: Extreme Heat Caused Closure of Pittsburgh Schools

"Forty Pittsburgh Public Schools have moved to remote learning for the rest of the week due to high temperatures. The closures were announced after the district established a new protocol for the heat for city schools with insufficient air conditioning systems. Under the protocol, when the National Weather Service forecasts temperatures to reach or exceed 85 degrees and/or a heat index of 90 degrees or higher, the district will determine if a temporary shift to remote learning or other action is necessary."

June 2023: Extreme Heat Forced Closure of Philadelphia Schools without Air Conditioning

"With temperatures expected to be in the low 90s on Friday, 90 Philadelphia schools will have a two-hour early dismissal due to the extreme heat. The Philadelphia School District announced the following schools in need of air conditioning and/or electrical systems upgrades will have a two-hour early dismissal on Friday."

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Temperatures in Philadelphia reached low 90s, Pittsburgh mid 90s, during the first week June 2023.

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Philadelphia School Official: “We can't have our students in that kind of weather. We do not want to have a breeding ground for heat-related illnesses.”

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Philadelphia parent: “I'm missing work. Get these kids some air.”

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Parent: “Hurry up and get air conditioning in these buildings so these kids can still learn.”

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Pittsburgh District Superintendent Wayne Walters: “Caring for the health, safety, and wellness of our students and staff is multi-faceted, and that is why I have identified the development of safety, health, and wellness protocols as one of five priority goals.”

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