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Extreme Heat Update

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB

Dear Parent/Guardian,

As you are aware, over the past few days the City of Toronto has been under a Heat Advisory issued by Environment Canada. We understand that our schools, students and staff have been impacted by the extreme heat and that many school buildings and classrooms are very uncomfortable.

Across the TDSB, while some schools are fully air conditioned and some are partially air conditioned, others have no air conditioning. We are doing everything within our means to alleviate some of the discomfort being experienced, including the following actions:

  • Using fans to provide air movement, where possible.
  • Keeping lights and computers turned off, where possible.
  • Keeping doors and windows open.
  • Rotating staff and students into air conditioned areas within the school, where available.
  • Reducing strenuous activities, including gym and sports activities.
  • Creating cooling stations at schools without air conditioning (a long-term project to cool large areas such as gyms and/or libraries for students and staff to access during extreme heat).

Any student with particular susceptibility to heat or with medical concerns should speak with school staff to be accommodated. As always, parents may also choose to keep their children at home during extreme weather.

We have been asked about closing schools during extreme heat. This decision would put thousands of parents across Toronto in a challenging position of having to find childcare with very short notice — something we know will not be possible in every case. Therefore, the TDSB and other school boards across Ontario do not typically close schools due to heat. As the heat wave has implications for schools across the GTA and in Southwestern Ontario, the TDSB will be engaging the Ministry of Education to develop a severe weather strategy for school boards across the province that includes protocols for high temperatures.

At this time, the forecast suggests that the high temperatures will continue into tomorrow, but cool off for the remainder of the week. Until then, please know that we are fully aware of the discomfort being felt within our schools and are working to help manage the situation as best we can until the temperature drops. Our staff are doing their best to follow our high temperature actions outlined above to help keep students as comfortable as possible under the current conditions.

We sincerely thank you and appreciate your understanding of the situation.

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