Some Tangipahoa parents want school to begin after Labor Day due to August heat
Posted on 7/21/2015 11:41:00 AM.
A group of parents in Tangipahoa Parish are asking district leaders to delay the August start of school because of the extreme heat. The petition says buses don't have air conditioners and the kids are riding home during peak hours of heat.

They suggest kicking off time in the classroom after the Labor Day Holiday. Erin Hunt, whose children go to school in Kentwood, says she's supportive because this high heat is too brutal for children.
"It's been, with the heat index, up to 108 days and it's just too hot for kids to be out in it. To go to and from school, much less going on the play ground and playing in the gym."

Hunt says many people don't understand the majority of school buses are independently owned and drivers don't make enough to install air conditioners throughout them. She believes some parents are hesitant to sign the petition because they think their kids will get a shorter summer, but that isn't the case.
"Instead of getting out the end of May they would get out in June so they would still have the same amount of summer, it would just be taking in school later, and getting out a little bit later but it would still be the same time frame as going as for summer."

The Tangipahoa Parish School Board Superintendent Mark Kolwe (Cole-lay) says he knows it's hot outside but students need to get as much classroom instruction as possible before taking their state exams in March and April 2016. He says it would be hard to get this approved now because school is scheduled to begin in two weeks.
"We've already got things in motion for the start of school. There is another group of parents out there that have planned various vacations around our school calendar."

Kolwe says a school board meeting is scheduled for tonight at 6 and it's expected some parents will come forward to make a petition. He believes this should be considered a statewide issue.
"I'm not saying that it's too late to make a change but I think for this year it would be hard to make a shift of over a month to the starting date of school."
Tangipahoa Parish, Mark Kolwe, Erin Hunt, heat, Labor Day

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