Some Schools in the US Closed Early when Temperature is Above 32 Deg C

Image: Antonio Guillem /

Let’s be honest here; Singapore has some pretty darn hot temperatures. In fact, we would be lucky if the temp. doesn’t go past 32 degrees, seeing how it can reach boiling ones such as 35, 36.

Image: Giphy

But while it has become normalcy on the citizens’ part, it doesn’t quite work like that in the U.S. With temperatures crossing the 32 degrees Celsius mark, some schools have actually…

Closed early or cancelled after-school activities.

Image: Giphy

Brb, moving to the US now.

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Too darn hot. Let’s cancel class.

It’s a known fact in the U.S. that when the snow comes pouring in, schools would call it ‘Snow day’ and henceforth cancel all classes for the day.

But it seems that there will be a ‘heat day’ soon, as extreme temperatures have been taking towns in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York by storm. And as a result, schools with little to no air-conditioning have either closed early or scrapped all after-school activities.

In fact, just last week on Thursday (6 Sep), more than two dozen New Jersey districts dismissed students early when the temperature climbed above 32 deg Celsius, as did dozens of schools in Connecticut. Even the land of dreams, New York, fell victim as at least two districts closed school early, with multiple others cancelling after-school sports.

Yet even so, it seems that New York City is still the least affected, as it has actually invested near US$29 million (S$40 million) to install air-conditioning units in all its classrooms by 2022. And according to city officials, 80 percent of instructional spaces have operating air-conditioning.

The kids are lethargic

As a result of the recent heat spates, Mr Andy Pallotta, president of New York State United Teachers, the state teachers union, has called for plans to combat the excess heat.

“From Long Island to Central New York, we’re looking at heat indexes of 100 degrees (38 deg C). It’s very hot, and the kids are lethargic,” he said.

Well, well, anything to say to that, dear Ministry of Education?

At present moment, the union is actually pushing for legislation that would need New York schools to plan for “extreme heat condition days” and cancel classes if temperatures inside the classroom exceed 31 deg C.

And with September likely to be hotter than average, it seems that the students have their work cut out for them, having been so accustomed to weather that lies on the opposite end of the spectrum.

It’s too hot to study… or teach

According to research (not our own, I swear), students do not learn much when classrooms heat up. Professor Ji-sung Park (not to be confused with Three Lungs Park), an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, went through 4.5 million Regents Exams in New York City and discovered that…

Scores tend to fall as temperatures rise.

For example, students who took the exam on a 32 deg C day performed 15 per cent worse than students who undertook it on a comparatively cooler day.

Additionally, a subsequent study revealed that the number of hot days during the school year also came under the spotlight. It has been discovered that a particularly hot year with multiple days above 80 degrees, tends to see worse results on exam boards.

“We know that heat can affect student cognition in a pretty serious way,”

And the teachers weren’t spared either. Ms Dora Leland, a middle-school social studies teacher in Horseheads, in Central New York, applies her craft in an open-air classroom. And according to her, high-temperature days saw sticky papers, as well as wet floors because of condensation.

“This is the hottest first day I can ever remember,” said Ms Leland, who has been teaching for 28 years. “It was so hard to even think and speak, because I was dripping with sweat.”

And she wasn’t alone. Ms Eda Ferrante, a high school social studies teacher in New Jersey, described her classroom as that of a “sauna”.

“Adults go to work in office buildings that are air-conditioned, yet our students go to school in inhumane conditions,” she said. “We don’t even want our pets in this kind of weather.”

Did you see that?


Image: Gfycat

Is it a sign?

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m advocating the cancellation of all school classes for primary and secondary schools, because let’s face it.

They go through that stifling heat day in day out.

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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Sure, you can argue that the Americans aren’t really used to our intensely warm climate, and as such have difficulties adjusting.

But doesn’t that speak volumes about our own children’s capacity?

As such, I officially announce that I’m quitting my job to start a ‘Let’s abolish humid teaching and studying’ campaign. If you so wish, you can donate to my campaign via my username ‘Hesdefinitelyshadyaf’.

So let’s keep our heads up.

And make this world a better place.

Image: Tenor

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Zhi Hao

Zhi Hao

Just your average Singaporean guy who tends to write aimlessly, work out inefficiently and sleep soundlessly.
Zhi Hao