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Schools keep kids inside for recess, PE during heat warning

Posted: 4:58 PM, Aug 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-13 19:59:10-04
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PHOENIX — With the excessive heat the Valley is experiencing, ABC15 asked schools what they're doing to make sure kids stay cool and safe.

Grace Alvarado is a physical education teacher at Chandler Traditional Academy Goodman. She says every morning an email is sent out letting staff know what the "heat index" for the day is.

The index takes into account the temperature outside and the humidity levels. If its in the red, that means kids must stay inside for any activity. That means afternoon recess is in the classroom and P.E. is in the gymnasium.

"We want them to be successful and to be healthy," Alvarado said.

There's no state law requiring schools to keep kids inside on days the Valley is under an excessive heat warning. But the Arizona School Boards Association sends out a policy to districts recommending schools modify practices and games for after school sports.

The board says nearly all schools adopt that policy. Some also make modifications to it to include recess and other outdoor activities.

A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Health says any time there is an excessive heat warning, they send out recommendations to districts who subscribe to their alert system. The department has nearly 3,000 subscribers.

ABC15 checked with districts in the east and west Valley about their individual policies. Spokesmen for the Dysart, Peoria, Mesa and Kyrene districts all said they keep children inside for P.E. and recess if the temperature outside is too high.

If you are interested in seeing if your child's district follows the Arizona School Boards Association's policy, there is a public data base here. Just look under the policy number "JJIB-EB".