Heat and humidity again close Iowa City Schools two hours early

Temperatures forecast to reach 91 degrees

Iowa City West High School in an aerial photograph in Iowa City on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Iowa City West High School in an aerial photograph in Iowa City on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — For the second time this school year, students in Iowa City schools will be released from class two hours early Tuesday due to heat and humidity.

Temperatures in Iowa City are forecast to reach 91 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, with heat index values as high as 101 degrees.

In an email sent to parents around 10:30 a.m., Superintendent Steve Murley said high temperatures, dew points and relative humidity in six district classrooms without air conditioning that are monitored led to the early release.

“We believe that the learning environments will be seriously compromised by the heat and humidity,” he said.

As temperatures are expected to fall over the next few days, Murley said the district is “hopeful that our buildings will cool appropriately overnight and that we will be back on a regular schedule for the remainder of the week.”

Last week, the district released its some 14,000 students two hours early on Aug. 30 as well, when humidity was forecast to reach 91 percent.

After that decision, Murley said in an email to parents that the district realizes “early dismissals can be problematic for parents and staff,” and that the district “does not take these decisions lightly.”

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About 23 percent of the Iowa City school district’s classrooms are not air-conditioned, Murley said in the email. The district’s Facilities Master Plan, when completed, will add enough HVAC systems to air-condition all classrooms, he said.

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