Lancaster County high school dismisses classes early due to heat

MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- It was hot enough Thursday to close a Lancaster County high school for the second day in a row.

The school dismissed students early on account of the high heat index, and a lack of air conditioning.

Lancaster Catholic High School students got a break from the hot, humid weather.

School's out for an early dismissal at high noon, as family members pic up their loved ones.

Laine Loraw was at school to pick up her niece.

"She said it was hot all over, it was definitely hot, a sauna, just sweating," Loraw said.

Lancaster Catholic High School vice-principal Adrienne Howe said "with that, a dismissal time around 12 o'clock, it typically really starts to spike up in the afternoon for the teachers."

Outside, it felt more like mid-summer instead of mid-September. With temperatures reaching near 90 degrees inside, classrooms felt like a sauna.

"So we we're trying to figure out ways to help the students and the teachers, when it gets so hot in the building for long periods of time, it doesn't cool down," Howe said.

The is a problem with a mathematical solution which calls for getting out of school early.

"If it is a heat index of 95 or above, but that's based on not us figuring it out, the National Weather Service and the little calculator that they use," Howe said.

After all, opening windows and blowing fans are no match for the current heat index at a school with no central air conditioning.

"It's very hard to pay attention, hard to teach, as you can imagine, so we implemented the heat protocol days to try to help with that," Howe said.

A few people of a certain age may remember a time when kids were told to just sweat through it.

"I can. Today being, "OK," let's get them out, because it is hot in the school, but I don't remember my school being.... Man, we couldn't even wear shorts to my school, when I was in high school," Loraw said.

Students at Lancaster Catholic High School will have another early dismissal on Friday, as administrators anticipate more high temps.