A record-breaking heatwave across the nation is resulting in some schools canceling summer school transportation, as air-conditioned buses aren’t enough to keep students cool.
The Seattle Times reported that at least two people have died this week from exposure to the heat. On Monday, Seattle experienced its hottest day on record with a temperature of 107 degrees. The Ephrata School District, located 170 miles east of Seattle, announced via Facebook on Wednesday that due to the safety of its students and bus drivers summer school transportation is canceled for the remainder of the week.
“Our air-conditioned buses are not capable of keeping up with the extreme weather conditions,” the post stated. It added that while classes remain open, parents and guardians need to make other transportation arrangements for their students. The Ephrata district added that walking is strongly discouraged due to the unsafe weather conditions.
Nearby Royal School District made a similar announcement. Earlier this week, the district stated that it borrowed two school buses from Quincy School District that were equipped with air-conditioning to give the students a cooler ride. “With nearly 500 Royal students participating in summer school and over 90 percent of these students relying on district transportation, the partnership with Quincy is a huge relief for Royal schools.”
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“There are many districts that are having to cancel transportation or summer school altogether due to the current heat advisory,” added Royal Assistant Superintendent David Andra. “We are incredibly grateful to Quincy for their support.”
However, a mere three days later, the district said that transportation would be canceled for the remainder of the week as the air-conditioned buses, “aren’t keeping up with the heat at a level that meets our safety standards.” Royal School District is keeping summer classes open but also discouraged walking due to the rising temperature.
In addition to Washington state, the National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings for Idaho, Montana and Oregon.