Weather forcing schools to dismiss early

Weather forcing schools to dismiss early

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- Hot weather is having an impact on students around the area. Some districts have been shortening days.
CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- Hot weather is having an impact on students around the area. Some districts have been shortening days. Monday was the third school day in a row Champaign Central High School dismissed early. WCIA-3's Anna Carerra has more.

The first few days of school can be really important. Once they're done with formalities, teachers say it's time to hit the books.

But, especially in this wing on the south side of the building, it gets harder to focus when the temperatures get so high. With just four days of school so far, half have been cut short at Central.

"I have no idea how hot my classroom is. I'm afraid to know."

Teachers like Veronica Thompson know the drill; bring a water bottle, keep fans running and try to help kids focus.

"We are doing full-blown lessons and it's really difficult because the class in the morning isn't getting exactly the same engagement as the classes in the afternoon, so big difference there."

Understanding a new language gets even trickier with fans going, but turning them off is hardly an option since students are so hot, they're sticking to seats.

"It's really muggy. Your clothes start sticking to your body and you start sweating and you just want to go get a drink or get in some cool air."

"You can go through a full bottle of water in 20 minutes and then you're just in class for the other 30 minutes, just thinking about how you want to fill it up."

When it's too warm to keep the lights on, it may seem hard to look on the bright side of a tough situation, but students and staff say they're trying.

"I like to think of the positives. It's kind of a tradition being here at the old Central, so that's they way I like to think about it, find some good in it."

"I tell them it's hotter in some parts of the world and we can handle it, but really, they shouldn't have to do that."

Not having air conditioning is just one more reason district leaders are pushing for a new location for Central High. On shortened days, classes are either condensed or students end up missing the last two periods.

Central isn't the only school dismissing early. Monticello will let out one hour early, as will Shiloh schools. The Windsor School District will let out at 1:45 pm, Tuscola at 2 pm and Catlin lets out at 2 pm, as well.
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