Chicago Area Schools Close Due to Heat, Need for Air Conditioning

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August 27, 2013 (AURORA, Ill.) (WLS) -- Tuesday was expected to be a short day for some students in the Chicago area because of the heat and humidity.

The weather is forcing school districts across the area to take precautions to protect students. Tuesday, school officials are cranking up the fans and handing out cold water.

At least three school districts in Waukegan, Aurora and Lockport said they planned to dismiss students early. Two schools in Grayslake were closed all together Tuesday.

"We decided to do a heat plan, a modified abbreviated day, which is essentially bringing students earlier and dismissing students earlier," Nicholas Alajakis, Waukegan schools, said.

Chicago Public Schools were not on a modified schedule Tuesday, but officials said they had cooling plans in place.

Temperatures were forecast to be even hotter than Monday, when the conditions created challenges for students trying to concentrate on their studies.

"I think it's harder for kids to learn in school. He came home today sick, saying he was sick and I think it's because he was hot in class today," said parent Valerie Singleton, whose son attends Brookwood Middle School, where most of the building is not air conditioned.

The thermometer recorded an air temperature of 90 degrees inside one Chicago-area classroom.

Some schools offered popsicle breaks Monday to try to keep kids cool.

"If they're feeling uncomfortable or it's getting hot like it is right now, we give them an opportunity to go to the main office, it is air conditioned," said Valorie Moore, Brookwood District 167 Superintendent.

The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement for parts of the state, including Boone; Cook; De Kalb; DuPage; Ford; Grundy; Iroquois; Kane; Kankakee; Kendall; La Salle; Lake; Lee; Livingston; McHenry; Ogle; Will; and Winnebago counties. Heat and high humidity are expected until 10 p.m. Tuesday.

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