Early heat related closures could impact academic year

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CLEVELAND -- Dozens of school districts were closed for a second, and in some cases a third day, Wednesday.

Temperatures in the 90's are almost as tough on families with kids as two feet of snow.

“My daughter called me in a panic today. She goes to Akron University -- schools closed and her babysitter bailed on her. I'm just glad I was there. We're having a really good day today," David Miller said.

However, not every family has a grandpa to help out.

When Parma schools closed for a second day, Dawn Calovini had to take a day off from work to care for her 12-year-old son Reese.

“He was supposed to start Tuesday but hasn't had school yet. We just keep waiting because he's excited to start school. You think you may have to make it up at the end of the year...what you think. Yeah I think so, they'll end up probably doing it" Calovini and Reece said.

They may not have to make it up though.

The state of Ohio has set a minimum number hours for children to be in school and each local district has the ability to set just how many hours their children will stay in school.

The state mandates that for grades seven through twelve students spend a minimum of 1,001 hours in school.

With an average school day of about seven hours, if district A has a school calendar of 1,100 hours in class and they lose three seven hour school days, they still fall way above state minimum. Meaning the school year wouldn't extended.

If district B has a school calendar that is at state minimum of 1,001 and they lose three seven hour school days, they would fall below state minimum and those days would need to be made up.

Just about every superintendent has a calendar that exceeds state minimum, so unless we get a particularly bad winter most districts should be okay.

And though it can be a bit troublesome to make last minute arrangements, most parents are okay with the cancellations.

“It does put us into a bind, but again, would I rather have him sweating and suffering some kind of heat stroke at school? No. It's just part of what we do. We have to make arrangements and figure something out,” Calovini said.

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