Hot Weather Plan

  • The following guidelines are based on the Heat Index and forecasts from the National Weather Service. The Heat Index is how hot it feels to the human body based on both high air temperatures and high humidity levels. The National Weather Service forecasts will guide how SPPS responds. For example, if the National Weather Service issues an Excessive Heat Warning for Ramsey County, families and staff should Take Action as listed below.

    Be Aware Be Prepared Take Action  
    • An Excessive Heat Watch is generally issued by the National Weather Service within 24-72 hours or when hot weather has the potential to occur. 
    • The Heat Index could be 100 degrees with an overnight air temperature above 73 degrees.
    • The forecast may still be uncertain.
    • A Heat Advisory is generally issued by the National Weather Service within 12-24 hours or when hot weather is likely to occur.
    • The Heat Index is expected to be around or above 95 degrees with an overnight air temperature above 73 degrees.

    (if the advisory criteria is expected to last for four or more days, an Excessive Heat Warning will be issued).

    • An Excessive Heat Warning is generally issued within 12-24 hours or when hot weather is certain to occur.
    • The Heat Index will be around or above 100 degrees with an overnight air temperature above 73 degrees.

    This information is based on National Weather Service criteria and only applies to Ramsey and Hennepin counties. The National Weather Service may issue these weather watches, advisories and warnings within a +/- 2 degree difference.

TAKE ACTION

Families

    • Dress children in lightweight and light-colored clothing
    • School buses are not air conditioned. You may provide a washcloth or neckband that has been cooled with water and stored in a sealable plastic bag. Students can wet the washcloth before getting on their afternoon bus
    • Send your child to school with a reusable water bottle with your child’s name (students will be allowed frequent breaks to use a drinking fountain or hydration station)
    • If your child has a disability or health condition that gets worse in heat, please notify the school nurse
    • If your child has asthma, provide medication to the school nurse
    • After school, visit a Ramsey County Cooling Center, such as a library, swimming pool or recreation center
    • Parents and guardians have the right to do what’s best for their child. Absences are not automatically excused. Families must follow their school’s procedures for reporting an absence

Schools and Programs

  • Although some schools do not have air conditioning, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) takes extra precautions to help students stay cool and hydrated during hot weather. 

    • Schools with partial air-conditioning may identify “cooling areas” for students and staff
    • Administrators will direct and deploy available fans to the hottest areas of the building, including for staff working in kitchens equipped with ovens/dishwashers.
    • Administrators will use their best judgment on whether to hold recess outside depending on the play area, available shade, etc.
    • Students will be allowed more frequent breaks to use drinking fountains and hydration stations (special drinking fountains that allow students and staff to fill reusable water bottles easily with chilled, filtered water)
    • All staff may use available fans to provide direct air movement and fresh air as needed
    • Staff will direct any child who feels ill to the nurse's office
    • Staff will keep their window blinds closed during the day to avoid heat from the sun
    • Staff will open windows for additional air circulation
    • Community Education will take appropriate steps for individual programs, including:
      • Evaluating the Heat Index indoors to determine whether to cancel a program
      • Evaluating the Heat Index indoors to determine whether a program can be moved to an alternative site

Athletics

    • Athletics will ensure that athletics directors are familiar with the MSHSL Weather Guidelines for addressing the heat
      • MSHSL recently updated its heat guidelines by using the WetBulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) method. This method measures heat stress in direct sunlight, which takes into account temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover (solar radiation)
      • You may review the current and forecasted conditions for the WBGT here
    • Athletics will post delays or cancellations of practices and games at spps.org/sports
    • Morning practices for both indoor and outdoor sports can continue as planned
    • Practices scheduled for the midday hours will usually move to the morning or evening hours
    • Teams may have less strenuous practice and physical activities will be reduced
    • Games will be moved to the evening hours or postponed
    • During games or matches, there will be frequent breaks for student athletes as mandated by state rules