More News:

September 02, 2023

School hasn't started yet in the city, but Philly is already planning early dismissals due to the weather

Temperatures are expected to surpass 90 degrees the majority of the week. 74 schools without proper air conditioning will be on an adjusted schedule on Tuesday and Wednesday

Education Weather
Philly schools early dismissal Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Students at 74 Philadelphia schools that don't have adequate or working air conditioning will be dismissed early twice durning the first week of school because of the hot weather expected.

A late-summer heat wave is expected to bring temperatures over 90 degrees to Philadelphia next week. Because of the heat, some Philly students will be dismissed early on the first two days of school.

The School District of Philadelphia will operate on an early dismissal at 74 schools that do not have air conditioning or proper cooling on Tuesday and Wednesday. The district's extreme heat protocol takes effect when temperatures are forecasted to reach or exceed 85 degrees for multiple days.

District Chief Operating Officer Oz Hill said the move is out of caution and safety for students. 

"Student safety is our number one priority, and the District is taking several measures to help maintain healthy and comfortable classroom conditions," Hill said. "The District has invested $285.7 million to improve electrical and HVAC systems in 23 schools, with an emphasis on those serving elementary students. We have installed over 800 window air conditioning units and over 1,400 hydration stations to provide cool, filtered drinking water."

Weather forecasts predict highs of 96 and 97 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

A decision on early dismissal for the rest of the week will be made by noon the day before, the district said in a memo. 

Exposure to excessive heat can lead to heat stroke,  dehydration, and heat exhaustion. 

The full list of schools dismissing students early, along with the adjusted schedule, can be found here

A 2021 survey found that 57% of district schools are not fully air-conditioned. Last August, Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr. said that every school will not be fully airconditioned until 2027, the Inquirer reported