September 2023: Milwaukee Schools Let Out Early Due To Extreme Heat
"Thousands of students headed back to class on Tuesday, Sept. 5 – including in Milwaukee. But those students will not be there for long because of our extreme heat. Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) says breakfast and lunch will be served with course work in between – and then kids will head home. All after-school, recreation, and sports programs are also canceled for the day."
IN THE NEWS
Extreme heat is becoming more common in Wisconsin as a result of climate change. Milwaukee is part of a “heat island” where temperatures can be more than 10 degrees higher than other parts of the state. Students in Milwaukee were unable to return to school on their first day due to the high temperatures. Climate impacts span wider than teaching and learning–when kids are out of school, they miss out on access to school meals, health and wellness services and community programs families rely on. Here are recent examples of how extreme heat in Wisconsin has caused extreme absence:
May 2022: Extreme Heat Shutters Schools in Appleton, Wisconsin
"The Appleton Area School District canceled all classes and events Friday, May 13. The cancellation includes all activities and evening events Friday. In a notice to parents, the school district cited extreme heat and ‘higher than average’ staff absences. Friday’s First Alert Weather forecast calls for a high of 87 degrees, but the humidity will make it feel even warmer."
Superintendent Judy Baseman: “Yesterday was extremely difficult for staff and students.”
Post Crescent: “Several staff members left early Thursday because of headaches or other illness that seemed to be due in part to the heat…at least one staff member left due to heatstroke.”
Baseman: “Of course, we had fans, the teachers do a great job of doing everything they can, but it came to a point at which we were seeing conditions that we didn’t feel were safe for the kids or students today.”
Appleton parent Emily Tseffos: “After hearing from two of my children who are in rooms that are not air conditioned and their teachers, and talking with other parents, I think it was the right call.”
Tseffos: “On Facebook on the ‘Buy Nothing’ groups, I saw a number of teachers asking for fans for their classroom.”