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Published August 27, 2013, 03:59 PM

Conflicting views on early school dismissals

For the first time in more than 26 years the Grand Forks Public Schools district dismissed two hours early Tuesday because of the heat. Five elementary schools, two middle schools and Community High school have no air conditioning, and even more schools in the district only have partial air conditioning.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

For the first time in more than 26 years the Grand Forks Public Schools district dismissed two hours early Tuesday because of the heat. Five elementary schools, two middle schools and Community High school have no air conditioning, and even more schools in the district only have partial air conditioning.

Custodians were in some buildings as early as 4:00 am Tuesday morning opening doors and windows to get air circulating in some of the non air-conditioned schools. School officials say an unusually high number of students were absent -- almost 25 percent. A typical day is around 5 percent. Some parents tell us letting the kids out early was a catch 22 because they don't want them to be in really hot rooms all day, but the mid-day dismissal can be hard to schedule around work. After school sports went on as scheduled, with coaches saying they plan to build in extra water breaks. Students will be dismissed two hours early again Wednesday. The school district will make a decision Wednesday morning about whether to shorten school hours Thursday and Friday.

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