Students, parents and teachers react to Rockford's heat half day

Schools canceled because of the heat

ROCKFORD, MICH. - Rockford Public Schools, along with other West Michigan districts, took a half day Monday due to the record-breaking September heat.

"In my 29th year as superintendent of schools in Rockford, I've never called school in September for a heat issue," said Dr. Michael Shibler. 

Only two buildings in the school district have air-conditioned classrooms, and Parkside is not one of them.

The students' patience level is down when the classrooms are so hot, said third-grade teacher Alyssa Scheidel.

"We are feeling the pressure that we have to start getting in our routines, and we have to start getting things done," Scheidel said. "But when they come back from lunch...and it's 90 degrees in our classroom, they can't really do much anyway. So, I think, for them, being able to go home and get some of their energy back and come back refreshed tomorrow is a positive thing."

The main driving force behind the half day was the bussing, Shibler said. 

"There was a lot of concerns about students being able to adjust, particularly elementary school students, to the hot weather," he said. 

Some parents were upset they had to adjust their schedules to pick up their children or be home when the buses arrived. Others, like Jodi VanderTuig, said the school made the right call.

"I think it's easier for parents to try to keep their kids cool than trying to keep a mass of kids cool," VanderTuig said. 

Rockford Public Schools will also take a half day Tuesday. For more school closings, take a look at our closings page

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