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Heat delays start of school year for Bowling Green City Schools

The heat wave continues for yet another day. And now, it’s to blame for delaying the first day of school for a local school district.
Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 8:17 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - Classroom temperatures in the 90s and no air conditioning. That’s what the Bowling Green City Schools Superintendent says is to blame for pushing back the start of the school year.

Bowling Green Schools Superintendent Francis Scruci sent a letter to parents and staff Monday that the first day of school is being moved from Wednesday, August 25th to Monday, the 30th. The start of the school year is delayed by 5 days thanks to the heat. And some parents in the district are angry.

Nicole Marvin’s daughter has attended Bowling Green Schools for years but transferred to Penta this year. She received the letter from the district Monday.

Marvin says that parents are upset that they received two days’ notice from the district. “They all took days off work to be able to do this, and they had less than 48 hours to be able to accommodate childcare or take other time off to take their kids for their first day of school,” she explains. Marvin says heat shouldn’t be a reason to delay or cancel school. But Superintendent Scruci said in this email classroom temperatures yesterday reached the mid-90s.

When asked if Marvin thought her daughter and other students would be able to handle that kind of heat in the classroom for a whole 8-hour school day, she replied, “They have in the past.”

In the last 10 years, we’ve only seen a handful of days as hot as the first day of school would have been this year. The forecast calls for highs in the mid-90s Wednesday, and since 2012, we’ve only been that hot five times. In fact, since 2012, Bowling Green Schools haven’t had a first day of classes even in the 90s. The forecast for the new first day: cooler, in the mid-80s. But parents say they don’t agree with the change.

“They’re doing it for the heat, but when all of us were younger, we had to go to school in the heat,” she tells 13abc. “There’s no difference.”

13abc reached out to Superintendent Scruci with questions that parents are raising, including why money hasn’t been allocated to install air conditioning units in the schools. We have not gotten a response.

You can read the full letter sent to parents below:

Dear parents, guardians, and staff,

After looking at every possible weather forecast for the beginning of the school year, it looks like Mother Nature is not on our side. With temperatures reaching the low 90′s and the heat index predicted to exceed 100 degrees, I am saddened to announce that we will be not starting the 2021-22 school year in any building on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 but rather will begin the school year on Monday, August 30, 2021. Classrooms that we monitored today were in the mid 90′s with no students or staff in the buildings. Our goal is to get students back in the building but with these extreme temperatures it would be counter-productive.

This has not been an easy decision and certainly has been a focus for the past several days. I truly believe this is in the best interest of our student’s health and safety. I continued to hold out hope that the forecasts would change but to no avail, thus making this decision necessary.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Francis Scruci

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