Kansas City parents left scrambling after district releases early because of extreme heat

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 7:00 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The first week of school for some students across the metro looks a bit different than expected. Due to the heat, classes dismissed early for the rest of the week in Kansas City, Missouri.

On Monday, Kansas City Public Schools announced early release for the rest of this week due to these scorching hot temperatures. On top of the heat, KCPS superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier said many of its secondary buildings do not have central air.

Through Friday, schools will either be let out at 10:50 a.m., 11:50 a.m., or 12:50 p.m.

Heather Bordeaux’s son attends Central High School, which is getting out at 10:50 a.m. for the rest of the week.

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“I freaked out, and I was like, oh my gosh, we got to go get our kid; our kid is being let out,” Bordeaux said. “I just ran and jumped in the car and picked him up.”

Bordeaux said she had to rearrange her work schedule due to school getting out early.

“I actually had to request my job to change my lunch break,” Bordeaux said. “I had to go to lunch early, and they had to approve that so I could come and get my kid.”

But Bordeaux said she is thankful the school prioritizes student and staff health.

“At least it’s just this week,” Bordeaux said. “But I’m glad they are looking out for their safety because you can’t play around with the heat.”

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Banneker Elementary parent Charlie Harris also had to rearrange his work schedule because he had to come and pick his son up at 12:45 p.m.

“I had to stop, I work for myself, and so I had to stop work and come do this instead of where I need to be,” Harris said. “But when I saw how hot it was going to be, I knew this was going to happen.”

KCPS superintendent Dr. Jennifer Collier said Tuesday it wasn’t a decision her staff wanted, but by getting bodies in the classroom, they realized this was the best decision.

Collier added the other decision considered was to cancel school entirely, but it was not how the district to begin its academic year.