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Extreme Heat Will Close Columbus City Schools Early Tuesday

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Columbus City Schools will close its school buildings early on Tuesday, because of anticipated "extreme heat conditions".

Building custodians will arrive an hour early to open windows, turn on fans, and get air circulating in school buildings, and students will get free bottles of water to help them stay hydrated, but district officials say the combined heat and humidity - leading to a heat index near 100 - will make too many buildings too uncomfortable for a full day.

 Under the 'Beat the Heat' plan, all high school and middle school students will be dismissed beginning at noon.  Elementary students and students in K-6 and K-8 schools will be dismissed beginning at 1pm.  Afternoon buses will run about 2 1/2 hours early.  All students will be served lunch before they are dismissed.  

After school sports and extra-cujrricular activities will be cancelled, but the latchkey program will open at 1pm.  Teachers and staff will remain until the end of the regular day.

District officials say early closure is only scheduled for Tuesday, pending changes in the forecast.  Ironically, more school buildings are air conditioned than ever before.  Marion-Franklin High Schoolm Valley forge Elementary and Forest Park Elementary now have air conditioning as part of a 2016 voter-approved bond package.  West high School and Walnut Ridge High School are expected to get air conditioning in the coming months.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.