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'The Students Are The Real Losers Here': Lost Class Time During Strike Means Longer School Year

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- To make up for lost class time from the Minneapolis educators' strike, 42 minutes will be added on to the end of the school day beginning April 11. The last day of school will be moved from June 10 to June 24.

"Will that be quality school?" Lynn Barnhart, from Minneapolis, said. "Hot schools, hot temperatures in school rooms."

Barnhart has a high school student in the district. She already paid for a summer camp for him that starts June 10.

"I think the students are the real losers here," she said.

Last year, a heat wave in early June forced more than a dozen Minneapolis public schools to shift to distance learning. Now the end of the school year will be closer to the end of June.

The National Weather Service says early last June the temperatures were unseasonably high in the 90s for almost a week straight.

"On climate normals, we're talking the start of June, that's when we're starting to see high temperatures consistently in the 70s and by the end of June we're starting to break a little closer to the 80-degree mark," NWS meteorologist Nick Carletta said.

A spokesperson for MPS told WCCO right now the district has 13 schools without air conditioning.

"We have to remember for every time that there's a person who's complaining about air conditioning, there is someone who doesn't have air conditioning at home all day," parent Michael Smith said.

Smith thinks extending the year could actually help many students, giving them longer access to meals and a safe environment.

"I just think that it's important to remember everybody involved in Minneapolis," Smith said.

Officials are still exploring different makeup day options, including possible digital learning. The district also has four inclement weather days that could be used for excessive heat and instead move students online.

MPS told WCCO they will be implementing excessive heat protocols in the next several weeks to prepare for potential hot weather. Under current makeup plans students will have just over 10 weeks of summer break before most return on Sept. 6.

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