Heat Forces Schools to Make Changes

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By Craig Choate

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- The hottest days of the year arrived just as school resumed, and it has some districts adjusting their plans.

The playground at Tri-C Elementary sat quiet Monday afternoon. With temperatures in the 90s and the heat index hitting triple digits, teachers are keeping students inside during the day.

"We called in recess on Thursday and Friday, and again we're looking at the weather today and had inside recess today, and we'll also probably have inside recess tomorrow," explained assistant principal Karri Forby.
 
Forby says the biggest problem is the location of the playground and its lack of shade.
 
"The students are at recess on the blacktop and so the blacktop gets very warm, so we just watch the weather and if it's going to be too hot we call for indoor recess." 
 
The younger kids at Tri-C also require a closer watch.
 
"They're small and they have small bodies and dehydration can happen quicker than a normal adult and so we just try to keep them hydrated," Forby said. 
 
Herrin Elementary is taking a different approach.
      
"We kind of just take it by a day-by-day basis." says principal Bobbi Bilger.
 
They are allowing students outside during the recess hour but not without caution.
 
"We have water available as they leave the cafeteria to take with them. They can bring water bottles, then we have covered areas for them to sit if it's too much for them." 
 
The Herrin staff knew the mild summer would end eventually.
 
"I think everybody was just waiting for it to happen, and then it's finally here and it's like, 'Wow it's hot outside,'" Bilger added.
 
Once this heat ends, playgrounds will be full of kids on monkey bars and swings.
 
Tri-C is in the process of trying to add umbrellas and tents to their playground to provide shade for students.
Marion Regional
Current: 55°
Rain
High: 57°
Low: 52°
Wind: 9 MPH
Pressure: 0.00
Humidity: 88 %

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