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17 Denver schools release early or are closed Friday due to heat

While 7 Denver Public Schools had a Heat Day on Thursday, 17 are affected Friday as Colorado grapples with record-breaking temperatures.

DENVER — Denver Public Schools (DPS) issued a Heat Day for several schools on Thursday and Friday.

Seventeen Denver schools are closed or will have an early release on Friday. Seven schools had a similar Heat Day on Thursday.

Denver soared to 96 degrees on Thursday — 13 degrees above the normal high — to set a new record for Sept. 9 in the Mile High City.

Denver schools impacted Friday:

  • Asbury Elementary – Half Day
  • Brown International Academy – Half Day
  • Cory Elementary – Half Day
  • Denison Montessori – Half Day
  • Doull Elementary School – Half Day
  • Hamilton Middle School – Closed
  • Knapp Elementary – Half Day
  • Lincoln Elementary – Half Day
  • Manual High School - Half Day
  • McMeen Elementary – Closed
  • Merrill Middle School – Half Day
  • Polaris Elementary – Closed
  • Stedman Elementary School – Half Day
  • Steele Elementary – Half Day
  • Stephen Knight Center for Early Education – Half Day
  • Thomas Jefferson High School – Half Day
  • Traylor Academy – Closed

This time last year, many were dealing with the first September snow.

"That actually came up on my Facebook feed of me clearing my car off last year at this time,” said Heather Bock, DPS Director of Planning, Design, and Construction.

"They don't have any AC in here, so it gets kind of miserable for them wearing masks and stuff all day, too,” said Merrill Middle School parent Isaac Anaya.

A $128 million bond was approved by voters last year to improve classroom cooling. Since then, DPS has added air conditioning in five schools. 

Grant Beacon Middle School is one of them. By 2023, DPS says only 26 of the 208 schools in the district will be without air conditioning.  

DPS believes the schools are part of Denver’s history. Preserving that history is at the forefront but also challenging.  

Bock said, "Trying to modify a school that wasn't designed then to meet today’s needs and requirements is very difficult. I would say that is the biggest challenge because we're also trying to be respectful of the landscape and architecture.”

Schools that are closed are offering breakfast and lunch for the students to pick up. Parents were seen picking up their kids at the schools with early releases.

"It's ok to have a half-a-day – hot day. Just like a snow day," said Anaya.

For Anaya, it’s not a problem, but the heat impacting his kids’ school is a first.

Credit: M-Production - stock.adobe.com

This was also the case for Skyler Burton, who picked up her three kids and two others from Cory Elementary.

“We just have to learn to be flexible and roll with any situation. And it is hot, and of course, I want the teachers and the kids to be comfortable. It's not a great learning environment if it's not,” Burton said.  

Her daughter Charlee is a fourth grader with classes on the second floor.

"It's really hot in the afternoons. We have two classes, so we transition into them. And it gets so hot, and I feel like I’m about to faint and have to stay hydrated,” she said.

Several parents told 9NEWS they will make the most out of another summer and make sure the kids can get out and enjoy.

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