Updated at 6:15 p.m.

WESTFIELD, NJ — A broken school district air conditioner prompted a shortened school day for some students in Westfield Thursday after the network equipment the cooling unit was intended to maintain overheated and failed, school officials said.

Superintendent Margaret Dolan said that district IT staff were working to restore the equipment to functionality and that students and teachers would return to remote instruction only Friday.

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“Remote learning will be possible because teachers and students will access Google Classroom from their home Internet,” Dolan said in a message sent to families. Due to COVID-19, the district has been employing a hybrid model of instruction with students learning both in person and online.

Earlier in the day, Westfield High School gave parents the option to pick up their children from school early when students within the building became unable to access the internet.

Calls to school district phone numbers yielded a message saying, “Party is temporarily unavailable.”

Earlier this month, students returned from a planned week of all-remote learning implemented during the first week of January as a means to mitigate COVID-19’s spread.

It’s not the first time that internet connectivity issues have gotten Westfield students time off.

On Oct. 30, the district called off classes after strong winds stemming from a hurricane knocked out internet service.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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