Hottest day this year has some Philly schools closing early; families finding ways to stay cool

Alyana Gomez Image
Friday, June 2, 2023
Hottest day this year has schools closing early, families staying cool
Temperatures on Friday broke records in some areas across the Delaware Valley.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Temperatures reaching the mid-90s Friday forced the School District of Philadelphia to issue a two-hour early dismissal for 90 schools that don't have air conditioning.

"We're hopeful that one day we'll get to a point where we won't have to do this. But until then, we're going to make sure we provide for the safety and well-being of students and staff," said Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington.

Watlington says 57% of schools in the district don't have operating air conditioning systems.

"Come on, they can have nosebleeds, pass out, overheating, hives, asthmatic, you know the history," said Nijas Smith of Overbrook.

"That is a problem. Children are our future so that's one thing they need to figure out," said Brittany McCusker of Fairmount.

In Center City, families with little ones ventured outside earlier in the day, splashing around at Sister Cities Park to stay cool.

"This is the hottest day of the week and we're like just trying to have fun and not getting stuck at home and watching TV," said Jeanne Lanza of North Philadelphia.

"There's not much else to do on really hot days, maybe get some ice cream later and just hang out," said Alyssa Casullo of Center City.

In Chester County, we found a long line outside a popular ice cream shop.

"It's been consistent all day long, we haven't not had somebody here, which is great for this time of year," said manager and owner Casey Buchanan.

Handel's in Berwyn has been making homemade ice cream since 1945 and knew Friday's scorcher would boost business.

"We definitely beefed up our staffing and we've been making ice cream at an incredible amount," said Buchanan.