Union Public Schools close early due to heat, safety concerns

Officials in one district say it isn't the final exams that are making students sweat, it's the 90-degree heat. Union Public Schools held only a

Union Public Schools held only a half-day of

Union Public Schools held only a half-day of classes due to safety concerns, since most of the classrooms are not air conditioned. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

UNION - Officials in one district say it isn't the final exams that are making students sweat, it's the 90-degree heat.

Union Public Schools held only a half-day of classes due to safety concerns, since most of the classrooms are not air conditioned.

"I see people walking around with towels on their heads and with water bottles and ice packs, no shirts," said student Nick Lewis. 

Chris Szostek argues the sweltering temperatures make it difficult for him to function at school. "If you're focusing more on the heat then you don't tend to concentrate on your work," he says.

Administrators decided yesterday to only hold a half-day today because of the heat.  They say that's usually the policy when inside temps are predicted to reach 90 or above. 

The district will still get credit for the day with the modified schedule. Union, like many districts, is trying to make up snow days to get credit for 180 days of instruction. 

But some parents say students are missing critical learning time. "They should do something about the air conditioning," says Jenny Hohenkirk. "They should have more air conditioners." 

Some classrooms have fans, but News 12 is told faculty members have to pay for them with their own money.  

Union schools also held modified gym classes and kept students indoors. A full day of class will be held Thursday.

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