The hot temperatures last week led to some creative ideas from Swanton Local Schools officials on keeping students comfortable.
The high temperature on Wednesday reached 92 degree, and humidity made the heat index even more uncomfortable. Three district buildings – Crestwood Elementary, Park Elementary, and Swanton Middle School – are not fully air conditioned.
“I know that (Elementary Principal Paulette) Baz was thinking about things we could do as a district as early as 6:30 this morning,” Superintendent Jeff Schlade said on Wednesday. “That’s when I received a text from her explaining some of the strategies she planned to use for helping students and staff in grades Pre-K-5 at Crestwood and Park to cope with the heat.”
Students at the elementary schools got a cool treat as one way to beat the heat.
“The Swanton Parents Club is great and continued to bring Popsicles to Park and Crestwood,” Baz said. “We had the students at both Crestwood and Park stay in an air conditioned area for recess. The teachers use fans to help keep cool.”
At the middle school, teachers and students shifted around the building in order to take advantage of cooler classroom space when those rooms were available.
Middle school students also received Popsicles from the Parents Club.
“We can’t thank them enough for that gesture,” said Schlade. “That sure pepped up those students during the heat of the day.”
Some parents in the district believe that more can be done by district officials, including making all of the buildings air conditioned.
“My boys have come from school because they literally overheated,” said Lori Bolyard, who has three students in the district. “That is a very scary situation but one that can be prevented. I don’t understand why this isn’t a priority for our board members.”
On Wednesday, the heat was uncomfortable enough for one area district to send students home early. Students in Bowling Green’s three buildings, none with air conditioning, were let out two hours early.
A bill proposed in the Ohio Senate aims to reduce the number of hot days at schools without air conditioning. It would mandate that school not start until after Labor Day. (See Story on Page 1)
Dealing with the uncomfortable temperatures is nothing new in the district, and despite the unusually warm summer this year was no different than others, according to the principal.
“I think this year is no different than the rest for hot temperatures–just often depends on what month, May or June vs. August and September,” said Baz. “We are looking forward to cooler temps.”
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010