St. John Valley

Some Aroostook schools letting out early for heat

CARIBOU, Maine — Caribou high school and Mars Hill and Van Buren schools will let out early Friday due to intense heat inside the schools.

At 11 a.m., when RSU 39 superintendent Tim Doak made the call for Caribou, it was 82 in the classrooms, and he expected the temperature to continue to rise throughout the day. Schools will let out at 12:30 p.m.

Most Maine schools are not air-conditioned, and hot weather makes learning conditions unbearable, Doak said. On top of that, condensation from the heat will begin to form on the floors and walls, making the building surfaces slick to the touch.

“You get to a point that’s not teaching and learning, it’s just managing hot bodies,” Doak said. “People are hot, they’re miserable and it’s like, why would we [keep them] — there’s no sense.”

At Caribou and Van Buren, this is just the third day of school, though Mars Hill has been back in the classroom since Aug. 11.

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