BRECKSVILLE -- More than 130 schools in Northeast Ohio are closed Wednesday, because of the extreme heat. The National Weather Service is forecasting heat indices in the upper 90's to near 100 degrees.
Chippewa Elementary School is one of the 3 elementary schools in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District that decided to cancel classes Wednesday. All 3 schools were built in the 1960's and do not have air conditioning. The windows do not fully open, and the half-century old electrical wiring cannot handle more than a couple of fans in each classroom.
"They're melting. It's difficult," said Christine Ferran, mother of two, and a teacher in the Shaker Heights school district.
"We get in about 10-15 minutes of work in, and then that's about it. It's very difficult for them to concentrate in this heat," she said.
Staff members at Chippewa report as many as 20 students were sent to the school nurse for heat-related symptoms on Tuesday.
While the criteria for closing school for heat vary depending on the district, one common factor used is a forecasted heat index of 95 degrees or more.
But many on social media voiced their criticism of the school closings. On the WKYC Facebook page, Doug wrote: "We are raising a bunch of sissies." Meanwhile Kimberly sarcastically wrote: "My child survived school today. Amazing."
"I went to school here and we had the same conditions, and we just went to school," said Greg Palgut. "I don't know if it was in the 90's in September back then, but I'm sure it was."
But was Cleveland just as hot, "back in the day?"
WKYC Meteorologist Michael Estime did some research and found that only in the 1950's have there been just as many 90-degree days in September, as in our current decade. Between 1950-1959, there were 24 90-degree days in September. From 2010-2018, there have been 24 90-degree days in September thus far, and the decade is not over yet.
The other decades in between, pale in comparison. For example, in the 1960's, there were only 3 90-degree September days
You can watch Michael's investigation in the player below: