Schools without air conditioning try to stay cool

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) After a mild summer, the weather is heating up just as kids settle into the new school year. We’ll likely hit a heat index as high as 100 degrees this week and some classrooms don’t have air conditioning.

NewsChannel 15 spoke to leaders about the efforts to keep students cooled off.

“We open windows, we have fans, we close the blinds, we turn off the lights, a lot of schools will do things like bring popsicles,” said Krista Stockman, Spokesperson for Fort Wayne Community Schools.

At Irwin Elementary School, one of the lessons of the day is how to keep cool. That includes sometimes even moving class outside and getting creative.

“It’s just very difficult to stay cool, stay focused, doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” said Ingrid Laidroo-Martin, Principal of Irwin Elementary School.

My midday Monday, the temperature reached 92 degrees outside. Inside, even with the fans going, it was still 87 degrees.

22 schools within the Fort Wayne Community Schools system only have partial air conditioning or none at all.

“The kids really, they adapt. They’re used to being outside, running around being hot and sweaty in the summer. While it’s not ideal for the learning environment, they do a pretty good job,” said Stockman.

Irwin Elementary and four others will soon get relief.

Snider High School and Memorial Park Middle School will have full air conditioning next school year. Weisser Park Elementary and Jefferson Middle School will have air conditioning in 2016.

“Everyone will be focused on their work, rather than the heat because right now, it’s very oppressive and very hard to focus,” said Laidroo-Martin.

Leaders hope to eventually have air conditioning for all of those 17 other schools, which will be a long process.

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