Classes suspended Friday to address heat mitigation measures in schools
By The Star Staff
Classes at Puerto Rico’s public schools will be suspended this Friday in order to take measures to address the heat in the classrooms, interim Education Secretary Yanira Raíces Vega announced late last week.
Given the importance of the issue, and in order to provide adequate guidance to staff and the school community on the identification of warning signs of heat-related illness, as well as the need to develop contingency plans and discuss them in detail with staff and the school community, the determination was made in order to allocate the time for the preparation, execution and dissemination of contingency plans adapted to the conditions and particularities of each school in the face of the ongoing summer heat wave, the Education chief said in a communication to teachers and support staff.
On Friday morning, school principals will guide school staff and conduct the review and adequacy of contingency plans, ensuring they are aligned with the specific conditions of the school and the needs of staff and the school community. In addition, time will be provided for an opportunity to coordinate and strengthen response strategies.
In the afternoon of the same day, each school principal will convene parents and guardians, in person, to participate in information meetings on the measures being implemented in the school in response to the heat wave. The meetings can be held as an assembly or through direct guidance from teachers to parents from the homeroom. To this end, they will ensure that families are properly informed about the measures that will be implemented to maintain the safety and well-being of their children in a safe and healthy educational environment, the official noted.
“We are committed to maintaining open communication with the education community and are determined to work closely with families, school staff, and relevant authorities to address the issue of the heat wave and its effect on student learning effectively,” Raíces Vega said. “It is important to highlight that this action plan will be evaluated periodically.”