The Quesnel School District has announced that the last two days of school for elementary students have been cancelled due to the extreme temperatures.
Superintendent Sue-Ellen Miller says the decision was made because of the temperature inside the schools.
“We only have air conditioning in three of our facilities because our elementary schools don’t have air conditioning. That was the reason that we felt it was pretty critical to really make that call. What is the temperature in the classroom without anyone in it, and then what is the temperature in the classroom if you have 20 bodies or more, 20 young people and teachers in it or more.”
Miller says she believes that this is unprecedented in the District.
“I can’t remember a time, so I’ve been here 32 years, and I cannot recollect a time. I know for certain, not since I’ve been Superintendent for the last 16 years have we had to close for heat.”
She says the decision was made in consultation with the province and the local health and safety committee.
“We have a local health ans safety committee, that includes our unions, and that’s who we were meeting with and having some conversations. So that kind of happened late into the evening yesterday (June 27). We also monitored the temperature in the schools throughout the day yesterday, because we can do that remotely, just to get a sense of what it’s going to be like. By late in the day we felt it was time to make a call, so we had a meeting in the early evening and made the decision.”
Miller says they don’t have a policy for extreme heat as it has never happened before at this time of the year.
The school year ended last week for secondary students.
Miller says the news QJS school will have air conditioning though, and she says Correlieu also has air conditioning in the areas where there was a recent HVAC upgrade.