Excessive Heat Plan FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Extreme Heat in District's Non-Air Conditioned Schools

Q1: Why hasn’t the district put in individual AC units in each classroom in non-air conditioned schools?

A: On August 12, 2021, Millies Engineering Group detailed the issue in a report entitled, “Crete-Monee SD 201-U Temporary Air Conditioning Analysis.” According to the analysis review, “. . . it is likely the existing ComED utility transformers are not adequately sized to accommodate a significant number of new AC units.” Additionally, the report found that due to the load calculations of an average classroom, our non-air conditioned buildings would not meet the required capacity.

Q2: What is the district’s plan for overly heated schools?

A: Please view the district’s Excessive Heat Plan on our website.

Q3: What is the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) policy with regard to extreme heat in schools?

A: The health and safety of children are of paramount importance to local school superintendents. 105 ILCS Section 5/ 18-12, the School Code allows the use of interrupted School Days for "adverse weather conditions." As a reminder, with regard to extreme heat, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) allows for several options:
  1. Amend the public school calendar to start and end school at a later date.
  2. Dismiss after 5 clock hours of instruction
  3. Utilize an Emergency Day or “E-Learning Day”
  4. Utilize an Interrupted Day (school may be dismissed after a minimum of one clock hour of instruction)

Q4: How soon should we expect air to be installed in all district schools without air conditioning?

A: Please view the CM 201-U Short Term Facility Improvement Plan presented at the regular Board Meeting on August 17, 2021.

Q5: Why did the district change the protocols for mask wearing?

A: On August 4, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order mandating that all Illinois students and school staff in K-12 and early childhood care centers are required to wear masks indoors.

Q6: Has there ever been air conditioning in any of the district’s schools currently without it?

A: No. The school board, district administration, and community have been working to find a solution to this issue since 2013. At that time, a Facilities Planning Committee was convened to make recommendations. Various models were recommended and accepted over the course of the last decade, including the district’s recent request for referendum in April 2021 to address aging facilities and air conditioning. The referendum did not pass.

Q7: Can parents purchase or donate funds designated to purchase individual air conditioning units?

A: No. District schools without air conditioning require updated electrical systems and transformers to accommodate the increase in load capacity. Until this foundational infrastructure is achieved the buildings simply cannot manage window units.

Q8: Have there been any medical illnesses related to heat since the start of school?

A: There have been no reported illnesses.

Q9: Why can’t students in non-air conditioned buildings stay remote for the rest of the school year?

A: Per the Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Carmen I. Ayala’s Return to In-Person Learning Declaration it is a “requirement that schools reopen their doors in the fall, with only limited options for remote learning.”

Q10: Can students still receive free lunch while at home during an Excessive Heat Day?

A: Yes. The district will be offering Curbside Meals for all students whose school is closed due to an Excessive Heat Day: Tuesday, August 24 – Friday, August 27, 2021, 9 AM – 11AM at Balmoral Elementary, 1124 W. New Monee Road, Crete, IL 60417. Each bag will contain breakfast and lunch.

Q11: Why are some surrounding districts without air conditioning dismissing students after 5 hours of instruction due to heat?

A: Because every school district’s start times and transportation considerations are different, there is no “one size fits all” solution.

Q12: Is district administration aware of staff concerns regarding heat in non-air conditioned buildings?

A: Yes, district administration meets weekly with representatives from both the CMEA and ACME to discuss their concerns and share important updates.
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