Teachers, students deal with 90 degree classroom temps
By Kyle Vuille
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
Two third grade teachers stood in a classroom doorway Monday afternoon watching their kids come in from recess.
“I bet even the prisoners out there at the jail have central air,” one said.
Teachers at Lincoln Elementary School have been improvising everyday to find ways to keep their kids cool.
From spritzing the children with water bottles to having class outside in the cooler mornings, these teachers are trying everything they can.
One third grade teacher, Angie Kreiman, while giving out popsicles to her students said, “It’s hard to concentrate with sweat dripping off your forehead.”
Lincoln’s Principal John Bole spoke out about the extreme heat conditions at the school Facilities Committee meeting last Thursday saying,
“I opened up on Wednesday of last week where we had consecutive days of really hot (weather) and when I went in at 5:30 and opened up the building, the coolest room was 86 (degrees), at 5:30 in the morning,” Bole said.
Those classroom temperatures soared well into the 90s during the day.
Two of the third grade teachers whose rooms sit on the top floor where the heat issue is most extreme said they have had children with heat rashes, headaches, upset stomachs and bloody noses as a result of the heat.
Teacher Trish Mires said most teachers bring in personal fans, keep the lights off and pull down the blinds all day to keep temperatures down.
Mires also said teachers in certain classrooms can’t keep their windows open overnight because there are no screens so birds and bats could fly in. During the day, an open window without a screen also poses a safety threat for the children, she said.
Another third grade teacher, Katelyn White, on Monday said that indoor temperatures would likely be even hotter Tuesday because of the consecutive, hot days, noting the rooms don’t have sufficient time to cool off.
According to White, there are only three rooms in the Lincoln school with air conditioning. Two of them are computer labs where air was put in place so the equipment doesn’t get too hot and malfunctions.
Former Lincoln Elementary Principal John Larsen said the heat was an issue during his five years as principal as well.
“It’s just hotter later in the year this year,” Larsen said. “You can’t predict those things.”
Larsen said the school bought the big industrial fans that you see scattered throughout the school to get air circulating in the building.
He also said even if the school district could afford to put an air conditioning unit in every room, the aging electrical system wouldn’t be able to support all that influx.
“It’s not as simple as ‘let’s put in an air conditioner’ in every room,” Larsen said.
Larsen did acknowledge the amount of effort Lincoln’s teachers put into making sure the students are as comfortable as possible during the extreme heat days. He noted teachers buy popsicles and the water bottles and personal a/c units to help the students get through the hot days.
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