Two of the first three days of school this year at Lyons Township High School have been short days due to the extreme heat on Aug. 23 and 24. Lyons-Brookfield School District 103, which includes Lincoln School in Brookfield, shifted to an e-learning day on Aug. 24 because of the heat and the failure of some air-conditioning units.
LTHS Superintendent Brian Waterman had signaled at the Aug. 21 school board meeting that the school would go to half days if the weather got very hot. Despite adding more air conditioning in recent years, Waterman said that 44% of the classrooms on the junior-senior North Campus are not air conditioned or are without a modern ventilation system, while 30% of the rooms on the freshman-sophomore South Campus still lack air conditioning. Fourteen classrooms at South Campus received air conditioning this summer.
On Aug. 23 and 24, LTHS students attended school from 7:45 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. This allowed the school to get credit for a full day and avoid having to make up the days later in the year. Football practice was shifted to the morning.
At other schools in Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside, things are running normally except for keeping kids inside for recess. Extreme heat — the high was 98 degrees on Aug. 23 — greeted kids on the first day of school in Riverside Elementary School District 96, Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95 and Komarek School District 94 in North Riverside. On Aug. 24, afternoon temperatures topped 100 degrees.
“Very little impact over here except for indoor recess Wednesday and today,” said Komarek School District 94 Superintendent Todd Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald said that he was especially thankful for the recent renovation and addition projects at Komarek, which added air conditioning to the school last year.
“It’s been a real blessing and benefit to our district with this construction project, because we don’t have to contend with doing remote learning or half days or things of that nature,” Fitzgerald said.
At Ames School in Riverside a back-to-school assembly which had been scheduled to occur outdoors on the afternoon of Aug. 23 was postponed and rescheduled for next week. Students were also being kept inside during the recess portion of their lunch time.
Teachers were instructed not to take classes outside after 10 a.m., and if they took classes outside before 10 a.m., they were instructed not to have students outside for more than 15 minutes.
“Although I know how much fun our students have when they are able to go outside and play with their friends, these precautions are being put in place for the health and safety of our students and staff,” Ames Principal Todd Gierman wrote in an email sent to Ames parents.
The only impact at Riverside-Brookfield High School has been the postponement and cancellation of some outdoor athletic contests and moving some practices indoors.
A cross country meet against Elmwood Park scheduled for Aug. 23 was rescheduled and a soccer game scheduled for Aug. 23 and a golf match scheduled for Aug. 24 were canceled.
“Practices did continue, but outside practice was limited and trainers were on duty to check with the teams and monitor practice areas,” said Kiley Fletcher, the coordinator for public relations and community engagement at RBHS in an email. “Practices inside were highly encouraged.”
The RBHS football team held a morning practice on Aug. 24, with the varsity practicing at 6 a.m.