ABILENE – Monday’s forecast for temperatures hovering around the 110-degree mark has put into motion Abilene ISD’s excessive heat plan, which calls for limiting time spent outdoors for students from pre-K through high school.

Abilene and the Big Country have been hit with triple-digit heat in 19 of the first 25 days of the month with Monday’s forecast calling for a high of 107 degrees. The heat index – how hot it feels to the body when the air temperature (in Farenheit) and relative humidity are combined – will be right around that mark, which is in the danger zone, according to the Child Care Weather Watch chart the AISD uses for student safety.

The AISD has alerted principals at each of its campuses to follow the AISD guidelines on how much time children should spend outside at recess. That chart stipulates a heat index of 90-95 degrees Farenheit should limit outdoor time to 15-30 minutes or less for pre-Kindergarten and elementary-age students. A heat index of 95 degrees or more stipulates there be no outdoor play time.

The AISD Athletics guidelines stipulate that high school teams can practice outside for 40 minutes every hour, but must return indoor for a 20-minute cooling-off session before going back outside. At the middle school level, that goes down to 30 minutes outside before returning inside for 15 minutes.

Annette Franco – Abilene ISD Sports Medicine Coordinator and Athletic Trainer at Cooper High School – emailed coaches throughout the district last week to remind each of them of the district guidelines concerning outdoor activities in excessive heat. Athletics trainers and coaches throughout the AISD will be diligent in taking every precaution for student safety in accordance to UIL guidelines.

After the blast of hot air on Monday, weather forecasts call for Abilene’s temperatures to return to the 90s for the next two weeks, including a high of only 90 on both Wednesday and Sunday.