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Easton Schools Brace for Heat Wave

David Dieterich of Easton said this hot weather "is nothing compared to Houston," where he moved from five years ago. On Tuesday, Dieterich was wearing long black pants while pushing his daughter, Daphne, on the swings at Helen Keller Middle School in Easton. It's 90 degrees in February in Houston, he said.

On Wednesday, a high of 93 degrees is expected with a widespread haze, according to the National Weather Service. Thursday will see a high of 96 degrees with scattered showers and thunderstorms from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Daphne goes to preschool at Samuel Staples Elementary School – where the building is 100 percent air-conditioned. Cheryl Mammen, assistant principal, thanked the public works department for keeping the air conditioning in working order at the school. "The students can focus instead of melting," she said.

The other schools in the district are not so fortunate. Helen Keller's offices and some common areas have air conditioning, but the classrooms do not. At Joel Barlow High School, the offices, cafeteria, library and some classrooms have air conditioning.

Michael Cicchetti, superintendent of schools, sent a letter with the plan for the upcoming high temperatures. In previous years, the schools have dismissed early for high temperatures, he said.

Cicchetti wrote in the announcement: "Custodians will monitor temperatures approximately hourly. Students will be given multiple opportunities to remain hydrated. Second-floor classes will be relocated, as needed. Outdoor recess for elementary students will be curtailed or limited. Physical education classes will, generally, be held in the gym and not outside. The school nurse will remind staff to observe signs of dehydration and heat stroke. CIAC regulations will address any post-season athletic competitions at the high school level as needed. Any decision regarding an early dismissal or school cancellation will be communicated via our listserv. Please contact your school principal, or me directly, should you have any questions or concerns regarding our response to this summer-like weather."

Do you think students should stay in school in 96-degree weather? Leave your comments below.

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