The heatwave which has been plaguing lower Michigan for the past few days is forcing Battle Creek Public Schools to transition to a half-day schedule beginning Thursday, August 26th and Friday the 27th.

According to a Wednesday afternoon release from Nate Hunt, Communications Manager for Battle Creek Public Schools, “We are making this decision out of an abundance of caution, given that the heat index is expected to rise above what is safe for students and staff and that most of our buildings do not currently have air conditioning.”

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School officials hope to resume a normal full-day schedule beginning next week if weather conditions improve.

Transportation, to and from school, will not be affected. According to the Battle Creek Public Schools website, “If your student has already been assigned to a bus, they will still have transportation to and from school on a half-day schedule. Families who have been notified that they do not currently have bus service available to their student should make their own plans, take advantage of free bus service through Battle Creek Public Transportation, or can sign up for Virtual Academy until bus service is available. If you are unsure if your student has transportation available, please contact Ashley Kulikowski at ashleyk@deantrans.com, 269-965-9435, or contact helpdesk@battle-creek.k12.mi.us.

As for the sports program, Hunt says, “As of now, practices will continue as planned, with additional safety measures in place like mandatory water breaks. We are closely monitoring the heat index and will notify athletes and families if athletics events need to be canceled in accordance with MHSAA guidance.

The Michigan State Police is encouraging Michiganders to prepare for extreme heat. Heat indices are expected to exceed 100 degrees across much of lower Michigan through Sunday. Conditions have caused the threat of thunderstorms in the forecast, which could lead to additional power outages, adding to the potential heat dangers. State Troopers offer the following advice to prepare for the scorching heatwave:

To prepare for extreme heat:

  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, blinds or awnings to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home.
  • Check on family members or neighbors who are elderly, young, sick or overweight, as they are more susceptible to excessive heat.
  • Ensure pets have cool housing areas and plenty of water.
  • Learn about available cooling centers or public locations with air conditioning in your community.

To prevent heat illness:

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks that cause dehydration.
  • Wear clothing that allows good air circulation.
  • Limit vigorous activity.
  • If outside, avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade.
  • Try to schedule outdoor activities during the morning or evening hours to avoid the hottest part of the day.

The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office is also facing difficulties. Authorities announced that the Calhoun County Justice Center, in Battle Creek, will remain closed Thursday, due to a continuing air conditioner failure. This marks the second day of closure, however, 24-hour operations, such as public safety, will continue.

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