Long Island schools work to keep kids cool as temperatures rise

It comes after legislation was introduced to establish a maximum temperature at school buildings and other indoor facilities.

Caroline Flynn

Jun 20, 2024, 9:36 AM

Updated 34 days ago

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It's the end of the school year, but dreams of camp and beach days were not top of mind for students and staff at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School where not every room is air-conditioned.
Music teacher Christian Neubert has his hot weather prep down to a science. Shades up and windows open in the morning. Shades down as the sun hits in the afternoon.
"I have one wall, and it is all windows. So, it creates a greenhouse effect in there, it can get real hot," he added.
The Port Jefferson School District has a plan for all of their schools when it comes to beating the heat.
Frequent hydration breaks are planned as well as trips to water refill stations in the hallways. There are ice packs located in the nurses office to cool off with and access to air-conditioned spaces like the library.
Outdoor activities are not always guaranteed when the sun it out.
Port Jefferson Schools Superintendent Jessica Schmettan explained, “If you’re under a modified heat alert, you have to have frequent water breaks and in the shade, that’s every 15 minutes. If we are under a heat alert, then we are prohibited from going outside.”
Edna Louise Spear Elementary School also has something others do not; an indoor pool. Its part of the physical education curriculum. During the year, students learn to swim and safely enjoy the water. For the last days of classes, pool time is all about having fun.
When summer school begins in a few days, enrolled students will learn in air-conditioned rooms. They'll also have access to the indoor pool.


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