Superintendent is taking the heat for early start to school year

Three out of the first four days of school were cut short this week.

Mike DeNardo
August 30, 2018 - 2:42 pm
Three out of the first four days of school were cut short this week because of sweltering classrooms.

Mike DeNardo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With three out of the first four days cut short this week because of sweltering classrooms, Superintendent William Hite chief is taking the heat over the decision to start the school year before Labor Day.  

Hite said there was no way the School District of Philadelphia could have anticipated three heat-shortened 90-degree days in the first week of classes.

"Last week would have been a beautiful first week of school," he said. "It just happened to be last week, not this week. And quite frankly, I'm worried about next week."

In the past, heat has forced half-days in May, June and September.

Hite said the challenge is to find the funds to rewire more classrooms for window air conditioners. But he said it's too soon to say how these half days will affect a recommendation for the start date of school next year.

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He also acknowledged parents are getting a little hot under the collar, too.

"As I was walking into this school this morning, a parent walked in and looked at the sign on the door and she said, 'Another 1 p.m. dismissal? Y'all are killing me.' And she's right."