Temperatures pushing into the triple digits Tuesday and Wednesday have roughly half of Rapid City students in schools without air conditioning sweating and fretting about the dangers of record heat.
And there's little anyone can do about it.
"It's all about creative and flexible teaching," said Robin Gillespie, principal of Wilson Elementary School, one of many older schools without A/C.
She said teachers have to be careful about how much they try to do and how they do it.
"They give their kids maybe some work and then some down time. Keeping lights off, use of fans," she said.
"We get water bottles and we go outside," said Ethan Ellender, a Wilson fifth-grader.
Teachers also try to combat the heat by "giving us popsicles and putting on fans," said fourth-grader Taylor Uhre.
"This year we put ceiling fans in [third floor] rooms as a trial," said superintendent of schools Tim Mitchell. "At night, we're flushing those rooms with our ventilation system with the cool air from the night."
But those things can only help so much. It wasn't even noon on Tuesday when some classrooms were pushing 90 degrees.
And Mitchell said getting A/C into all the aging schools quickly is more or less a pipe dream.
"In some of the older buildings," he said, "it's a pretty comprehensive approach. It's pretty cost-prohibitive for us."
That's because they'd have to upgrade the infrastructure to make central air efficient enough not to break the bank with utility bills.
Instead, to deal with expected record-breaking temperatures, Rapid City schools will dismiss early Wednesday starting at 1 p.m.
"It's always hard to do that the first weeks of school because kids are getting into a routine," Mitchell said.
But the risks simply outweigh the benefits of keeping them in stifling classrooms.
"I had one teacher that got kind of ill after school yesterday from heat exhaustion," said Gillespie.
To prevent that from happening again, students and teachers in all Rapid City schools will leave Wednesday after lunch on the normal early dismissal schedule, before the old brick buildings hit their peak temperatures.
If you have any questions about the dismissal schedule, administrators say you should call the school your child attends.
And for those worried about making up the day, a change in South Dakota law a few years back lets half days count as full days, so districts don't feel like they have to keep kids in dangerous conditions just to get to that full-day threshold.