All schools in the San Diego Unified School District have “hot weather” plans in place for continued operations of schools during periods of extremely hot weather. The guidelines for the plans are outlined in Administrative Procedure 4032.
The district does not close schools due to hot weather but may call for minimum days at some schools under certain circumstances. Minimum days would be called at schools that cannot provide air conditioned learning spaces for all children when the forecasted temperature is 95° or higher with a heat index of 103° or higher. A minimum day schedule is not called on the first day of a heat wave but a decision would be made by noon on the day prior to minimum/modified day schedules being implemented.
The safety and well being of our students and staff are a top priority. We want to make sure they are as comfortable as possible so that learning can continue. As a result, our schools have a number of guidelines in place for planning instruction during hot weather.
Instructional Program Modifications
Elementary teachers may rearrange the daily schedule so that basic skills subjects are taught at the optimal time. Recess activities are limited to quiet games that require a minimum of physical activity. Physical education activities at all grade levels are limited to less strenuous activities and/or are rescheduled to a more appropriate time.
Alternative Locations for Instruction
Cooler areas of schools buildings and grounds are used when available. As an example, some teachers may have students gather in shaded lawn areas or move to rooms with better cross-ventilation. Students in non-air-conditioned portable facilities may be merged with other classes in air-conditioned buildings, such as media centers, cafeterias or auditoriums.
Athletic activities and practices may be canceled due to hot weather, or rescheduled for a more appropriate time. Before- and after-school programs may also be modified or activities rearranged.
Keeping Students Cool and Hydrated
Students are encouraged to bring containers of water to school during hot weather. Water fountains are available in all schools and schools are encouraging students to take extra water fountain breaks throughout the day. Many teachers keep spray-bottles with water in classrooms so that they can ‘mist’ students at their request or as needed.
Students are asked to dress in lightweight clothing that is in keeping with their school dress codes. Please also make sure to apply sunscreen to your child before school, as school staff are not permitted to apply it. If your child has a medical condition that may be compromised by exposure to high temperatures, you may keep your child at home or arrange for an early release.
Hot Weather Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Hot Weather Frequently Asked Questions
- Administrative Procedure #4032 - Operation of Schools During Hot Weather
- School Hot Weather Handout: English | Spanish
- Heat Illness Prevention Plan
- Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke Fact Sheet
- Sun Safety
- San Diego County Cool Zones
- National Weather Service
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Extreme Heat Prevention Guide
For additional information and your school's Hot Weather Plan, please talk with your school's principal.