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home : columns : columns July 27, 2017

8/28/2013 10:11:00 AM
Schools and the heat
Remember last winter, when temperatures were dipping to single digits?
When you were privately yearning for temperatures in the 70s? I am guessing some of you slipped in a comment like, "I'd take 80s right now, even the 90s."
You got your wish.
The heat comes at a bad time for the Minnesota State Fair and a boatload of southwest Minnesota schools. Thank goodness the Cottonwood County Fair dodged this bullet.
I'm sure there are folks who recall attending warm classes where no air conditioning was present at places like Winfair, Highland, BARC and even country schools. I recall a few of those days while growing up in the Willmar area.
I don't recall much about those days, other than dripping with sweat and being miserable. I'm confident those were not high quality days in school.
Some may try to scoff at the notion of closing school early, as Windom did on Monday and Tuesday (school closed at 1 p.m. each day). But those same people probably haven't spent an hour in a classroom at Winfair on a 95-degree day.
Every now and then, we hear folks talk about offering year-around school in Minnesota. The theory is that you could have quarterly breaks, rather than a long summer break. Students would gain continuity.
The biggest obstacle, as we were reminded this week, is that we still have too many older buildings without air conditioning.

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