District 204 closes 19 schools for heat

September 2, 2011 7:24:14 PM PDT
The hot weather means that some local students are getting a four-day weekend.

19 elementary schools in one district are closed Friday because they don't have air conditioning. The schools are located in Naperville, Bolingbrook and Aurora. Administrators said they felt the combination of high temperatures and humidity would make conditions unsafe for children.

"My school doesn't have any air," said Naperville elementary school student Cassie Sanchez. "In the gym, I was sweating and sweating and sweating."

Classes for the suburban district will resume after Labor Day. No Chicago public schools closed because of the heat.

One YMCA in west suburban Naperville is offering help to parents who might not have anything arranged in light of the school closings.

"We just feel that whenever there's a need in the community the YMCA needs to be there. And anytime that children need care, obviously when parents are working and they're in busy times of the year, we make sure that parents are not inconvenienced as much as possible," said Shane Loy, YMCA Safe and Sound.

"Having this as an option was something good. The inconvenience of having to find a place last minute, but it was resolved pretty quickly," said parent Ricardo Sanchez.

Parents of children who can't go to school Friday are scrambling to find baby-sitters and other activities for their children. Principals from each of the closed schools sent out e-mails and made phone calls to parents trying to get the word out.

"From my understanding, I guess it was just too much today, that they decided to close for tomorrow because it's not going to cool off," said Meghan Pufundt, parent.

With temperatures expected in the 90s again Friday, officials in Indian Prairie District 204 decided to cancel class at the district's 19 elementary schools that do not have air conditioning. All other schools in the district, which covers Naperville, Aurora and Bolingbrook, are open.

"We just moved here. I thought the schools should have sufficient air conditioning on days like this," said parent Natalie Bey.

The Naperville YMCA's program Friday is $39 for the entire day. There is no need to pre-register. The childcare goes goes from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.


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