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Kids Try to Learn Despite Sweltering Heat

Sunshine, Boyd, and Robberson Elementary Schools to Release Early on Friday Due to Lack of Air Conditioning

With summer break coming to a close, many thought the record-setting temperatures seen in July and August would be leaving with it. However, a recent spike in temperatures has some schools weathering extreme heat to start the year.  KSMU’s Justin Lux has details.

[Stand-Up]

I’m currently here at Sunshine Elementary School where they’re operating without air conditioning units in some of their classrooms.  With temperatures reaching triple digits, the dangers of this weather are becoming a reality. Some schools are continuing to operate without these air conditioning units, but they’re also remembering to be conscious of their students safety at all times.

[Natural Sound: Fan]

Inside Sunshine Elementary the drones of fans fill the air as they try to keep students cool.

“It’s hot, they’re really lethargic, but we’re taking every precaution we can.”

Rene Saner is the principal at Sunshine Elementary and says they’re doing everything they can to make days like this a little easier.

“We run all the fans on them that we can. We keep them hydrated, lots of water, sometimes keeping the lights off.  A lot of times teachers will pull them down on the floor around them and then blow the fans right on them so that everyone’s getting contact with that,” says Saner.

After three new window units were donated, the school will now have air conditioning in five of its classrooms, leaving eight more without the relief of cool air.

The school hopes to receive air conditioning at some point next school year. The Springfield School District has approved abond issue to install units throughout the school system.

In the meantime, principal Saner and her staff are doing the best they can with what they’ve been given.

“They’ll try to take their recess in the morning time when it’s not as hot.  We do have some shaded trees, we’re pretty lucky with that. They take shorter breaks and go out there, do more recess inside instead of outside, but they do everything they can to keep the kids safe,” she explains.

Saner says her school may begin the prep work on the new central air system during spring break, but more than likely the actual installation won’t begin until school is out for the summer in May.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.