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Updated: Coquitlam area schools close Monday due to extreme heat

School District 43 closes schools Monday, June 28 due to extreme hot weather; on Tuesday, schools will be open for students to collect belongings, complete final coursework but it will be a short day
Heat warning
On June 23, Environment Canada issued dozens of heat warnings ahead of an extreme heat wave. On Sunday, June 27, School District 43 announced schools would be closed Monday, June 28 because of the extreme hot weather.

An unprecedented heatwave will shutter schools in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Anmore Monday, June 28 due to extreme heat.

In a letter to parents Sunday, Superintendent Patricia Gartland told parents that due to the "dangerous record-breaking temperatures and long duration heatwave" officials made a "difficult decision" to close schools.

However, secondary students that require access for assessments or critical coursework will still be able to visit school buildings.

Among the concerns raised, according to Gartland, was the need to continue to follow COVID-19 protocols possibly exacerbating the effects of the heatwave on students.

"Though plans to use fans to exhaust hot air, keep windows open and other measures were in place to keep classrooms comfortable, concerns are rising as the temperature becomes more and more challenging. The possibility of having to wear a mask under such conditions would certainly be uncomfortable for most," she noted.

"While we do not make this decision lightly, the health and safety of our students is always our primary consideration," the letter further stated.

Monday would have been the last day of classes before summer for many as students will likely go into schools on Tuesday only as needed, and then only for a few hours.

School District 43 spokesperson Ken Hoff said schools will be open Tuesday to meet unique local needs.

“Some students may need to pick up report cards and personal belongings, while other elementary and middle schools may hold leaving ceremonies. Secondary students may need access to schools to complete final coursework or assessments. The schedule for Tuesday is already abbreviated so district schools will be open only to the extent needed for students,” confirmed in an email to the Tri-City News.

However, the Tri-Cities is not expected to transition out of the heatwave until Wednesday.