COLUMBIA — Columbia Public Schools is preparing for excessive heat with an early dismissal schedule for the seven schools in the district without air conditioning.
“We have to be prepared in the event that we have extreme warm weather conditions,” said Nick Boren, Columbia Public Schools deputy superintendent for administration.
Jefferson and West junior high schools will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m. in the event of excessive heat. Lee, Midway Heights, New Haven, Ridgeway and Two Mile Prairie elementary schools will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m.
Three years ago, the district's excessive heat policy changed to include only schools without adequate air conditioning. Before, all schools in the district were dismissed, Boren said.
Water breaks will be enforced, and fans will be placed inside the schools. Students will also receive lunch before they are dismissed, and buses will run normal routes after dismissal.
Boren said these procedures are for the safety of the students, faculty and staff.
Parents will be notified with a text message by 10 p.m. the night before whether there will be a early dismissal.
The first day of classes is Aug. 18.