Staying Cool in School - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Staying Cool in School

 By: Jason Rantala

@jarantala

jrantala@myabc5.com 

With the start of school comes shorter days, the start of fall sports, and... scorching temperatures?

"Classrooms range from 87 to 90, and they can be pretty warm when they're sitting there in a self-contained classroom," said Woodward-Granger Superintendent Brad Anderson.

For Woodward–Granger's Middle School, some extra strategy was needed to stay cool.

"We really had to step back and take a look at how we approach certain things within classrooms."

That means plenty of fans and open windows… and no lights.

"Just the idea that if the lights are off, there's no heat being produced by lights, it's just that calming effect."

On extra hot days, classes change. For Monday, gym glass took on some less strenuous activities.

"On days like this, we really scale back some of the things we are doing and not overexert them, because they don't have a place to go cool off."

Tucker is the proud teacher in one of the school's hottest rooms.

"I've nicknamed it the oven, is what I've nicknamed it, just because it gets so hot in here," said social studies teacher Grant Tucker.

Tucker's classroom tested at just over 88 degrees, but Tucker says he has gotten readings in the 90s.

"We try to do independent work with the kids so that they are more calm, they are not breathing so much, they're not taking so much, they're kind of able to relax and get their mind off of how hot it is."

The heat has gotten so bad, high school teachers on the air conditioned side of the building have offered up their rooms to teachers like Travis Wunschel.

"Plenty of windows and fans and after awhile you just get used to it," said Wunschel.

Thankfully for students and staff, classes got out early.

The relief of the final bell means a brief respite from the heat, until tomorrow, at least.

"Just going to push through, be soldiers, and just get the job done here at the middle school," said Tucker.

A bond issue was just passed to improve the schools.

Part of that includes air conditioning for the middle school, but that likely wouldn't be until the 2015 school year. 

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