Carmel schools dismissing early for the week because of extreme heat

Most schools across the area will be closed Wednesday for the Juneteenth holiday.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 18, 2024, 11:42 AM

Updated 26 days ago


Putnam County's largest school district is letting its students out early for the rest of the week because of the extremely hot weather.
Interim Carmel Superintendent of Schools Joseph McGrath said he understood the decision was frustrating for some parents but added that his top priority is keeping students healthy.
"We have an unprecedented heat wave I think we have to take unprecedented steps to protect the kids," he said.
On Tuesday, Carmel High School students were released at 10:45 a.m. after morning regents exams, at 11 a.m. for George Fisher Middle School students and at 12:30 p.m. for elementary students. High schoolers taking the regents in the afternoon were dismissed at 2 p.m.
Like many schools statewide, Carmel doesn't have enough classrooms equipped with air conditioning units and the ones that do are used for state exams.
Many parents backed the last-minute decision.
"It's good because it's hot but at the house, it's a little better," one woman said through a translator as she picked up a second grader at Matthew Paterson Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon.
Students were unsurprisingly supportive of the decision.
"They don't want people to get heat strokes," Carmel High School senior Massimo Petruolo said.
Carmel High School senior Massimo Petruolo's friend and fellow senior Jonathan Chisholm said they planned to spend their off time wisely.
"Probably going to go swimming, hang out with friends and just chill out," Chisholm said.
While many factors led the school to dismiss students early, McGrath said he followed guidance laid out in State Sen. James Skoufis' bill that if signed would allow schools to close classrooms if the internal temperature gets above 88 degrees.
"If we're looking at classrooms that are going to be in the 90s and high 90s you know, for me that's a health and safety issue," McGrath said.
The Carmel Central School District is closed on Wednesday for Juneteenth and will continue to dismiss students early on Thursday and Friday.

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