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Things have to be really bad to cancel the annual fifth grade-versus-faculty kickball game.

Last Monday, thermometers at Dyer Elementary School in South Portland, Maine, registered 93 degrees Fahrenheit, and teachers were forced to make the tough decision to call off the big, ceremonial event, which marks the end of elementary school for the fifth graders. “It sounds trivial, but the kids were really disappointed,” said Andrew Hodgkins, a special-ed technician at the school. The next day, administrators canceled school entirely, instructing teachers and students to instead go back to distance learning. It’s the first time Hodgkins, a Maine native, has heard of something like this happening. “I’m from around here,” he said. “I never had a heat day when I was growing up.” 

One hundred miles south, in Groton, Massachusetts, Nicole Frietas, a Spanish teacher at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School, recorded temperatures of over 90 degrees F in her classroom. She managed to move her students into the library, one of the few air-conditioned areas on the school’s campus. “It was miserable,” Freitas said. “The students went from being really energetic and engaged t... Read more

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