Potential Changes Due to Forecasted Heat

As the weather conditions are forecasted to be oppressively hot on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week, with heat indexes reaching 100 and temperatures in the 90s, we have to consider safety of our students and staff who are wearing masks while in our buildings that have little air conditioning available. Currently, Joseph Osgood School has central air conditioning, Deer Hill has air conditioning through window units in most classrooms, and Cohasset Middle and Cohasset High School have nearly no classroom air conditioning. The Commissioner of Education, Jeff Riley, has made it clear to all superintendents that Districts and schools cannot shift all students to remote learning on days that are deemed too hot and have those days and hours count towards a districts’ Student Learning Time (SLT) requirements of 170 days and 850/935 hours. In other words, we would have to add days at the end of the current school calendar to meet the regulations. He is allowing for Districts to consider moving to half days when necessary to ensure the safety of students and staff when the high temperatures are an operational issue.

In an abundance of caution for our students and staff who will be wearing masks in our non-air conditioned middle and high school, we are considering implementing half days on Monday (June7), Tuesday (June 8), and Wednesday (June 9) at Cohasset Middle School and Cohasset High School. If we do move to half days for our middle school and high school on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we would follow a regular half day schedule (12:30PM dismissal for both schools) each day, and lunch would be served. At this time, we are planning on students and staff at Joseph Osgood Elementary School and Deer Hill School continuing with full days on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on a regular day schedule. I will be revisiting the weather forecast throughout the weekend, and I will confirm our plans by noon on Sunday. This message is being sent to provide you with as much notice as possible for this change in schedule possibility for our middle and high school.

For all students, we recommend wearing weather appropriate clothing and bringing water with them to school. We will provide extra mask breaks and water breaks when needed; we will create cool zones in each building; and we will move students from any rooms that are too hot. A decision on sporting events and practices will be made separately, and any changes in schedule will be communicated to families.