- Lack of air conditioning in three schools results in all 4,500 students being dismissed
Pervasive heat caused problems all across Indiana yesterday, and even Brazil had its fair share of problems by the end of the day. Approximately 4,500 Clay Community School Corp. students were sent home because of the heat, a decision that caused problems for some parents, who had time constraints due to work.
School Superintendent Bill Schad said that the decision to dismiss students was initially made at about 9:30 a.m., after weather forecasters said the heat index could reach 105 degrees.
Though only two schools in the corporation, Meridian and Clay City elementaries, lack air conditioning , Schad said that "double bussing" cannot be done and that when one school is dismissed, all must be. Another school, Van Buren Elementary, recently had air conditioning installed, but the system is not online yet
"We can't send elementary students home, then high school ones," Schad said. "It's physically impossible for us to do that."
Installation of air conditioning at Meridian and Clay City elementaries has been discussed at recent board meetings, he said. With the controversial tax reassessments of late, plans could change quickly. Schad does not know how much money will be available for air conditioning.
"We hope to have AC installed in both schools sometime in 2004," he said, "though we don't know yet. Worse comes to worse, we can do just one, though I really hope that we can get them both ready as soon as possible."
Schad stressed that they will try to get "at least one" school's air conditioning installed and ready by the beginning of the next school year.
Students of Cornerstone Christian Academy were also sent home early, though not necessarily for the same reasons. Instead, they were sent home from school because they ride school corporation buses. All of Cornerstone's approximately 130 students went home at 1:30 p.m..
The new superintendent said that to his knowledge hot weather "has not been an issue in the last couple years."