DUPO, IL. (KTVI) – The coldest day of the year was made that much worse for kids at Dupo High School by a malfunctioning heating system that will close the entire school system Wednesday. It has some parents scratching their heads, both about why students remained in the cold Tuesday, and about the decisions for Wednesday.
Dupo school Superintendent Terry Milt said by phone Tuesday that the heating system in the high school building had been somewhat intermittent, leaving the temperature inside, “in the high 50’s” for most of the school day. Students, however, say the level of cold varied from room to room, with some spots much colder than administrators are letting on.
Shane Foster, a senior, claims it was 28 degrees in one room, and he says he saw proof.
“One of the kids had a thermometer they had made in science class,” he said.
“I think the temperature was like thirty in some of the classrooms,” another student, Donna Dixon said. “In the lunchroom definitely. Some of us were like, shivering in the lunchroom. It was, like really cold.”
Her mother was not happy hearing what the day had been like.
“I think they should have sent them home as soon as it went out,” Sarah Dixon said.
Milt confirmed the decision to close the high school tomorrow, though the information was not on any signs around the school or on the school system’s website. Parents of grade school students say their kids came home with word that the entire district, not just the high school, would be closed Wednesday. Many were unhappy with the level of communication.
“They could have let us know,” Lisa Tinker said. “They email us and call us when there is ever anything else going on but we didn’t get a call about the heat being off.”
Many are taking the unexpected day off in stride. The high school age kids can take care of themselves for the most part. But others worry about the bind grade school parents could face.
“Daycare,” Sarah Dixon said. “I mean, the high school not so much, but the grade school is out too because they cancelled both schools. Now all the grade school kids, they don’t have a place to stay.”
Superintendent Milt says he believes the heating problem in the high school is solved, but says he wants to have a full day to monitor it. That way, he says, there won’t be a repeat performance of Tuesday.