Parents upset over hot classrooms in D97

District criticized for not closing school during recent heat wave

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By Terry Dean

Staff reporter

Several parents with students attending school in District 97 say they want something done to improve conditions in the buildings during periods of extreme heat.

Seven parents took their complaints to the District 97 school board on Sept. 10, a day on which schools were kept open as outdoor temperatures reached the 90s.

The group included mostly Longfellow parents and one from Hatch, who said their kids have had to endure hot classrooms with no air-conditioning. Speaking during the public comments portion of Tuesday's school board meeting, many were visibly upset at the board and Supt. Albert Roberts, who was present.

Several dared the board to hold its meeting in one of Longfellow's blazing-hot third-floor classrooms. They also demanded both a short-term and long-term plan to deal with the problem.

The parents said it wasn't just about this string of hot weather in the last week. They said heating and cooling problems have persisted in several buildings.

One parent at the meeting criticized the district for not having an adequate, detailed plan for what to do during extremely hot days. The elementary schools do not have air conditioning while the middle schools do.

Some parents said the buildings should be closed during extreme heat days.

In response, Roberts said he also heard from parents who wanted the schools to remain open and not lose instruction days. But the parents at the meeting said teachers and students can't work productively in such extreme heat.

Roberts said the district is addressing the heat problem by having frequent water breaks for students and staff. Cases of water have been delivered to the schools, and outdoor activities have been limited, Roberts said.

Principals have also been rotating classes to cooler areas of their buildings, Roberts said.

Concerning long-term planning, board President Bob Spatz said that the district has a 10-year capital improvement plan, which includes addressing cooling and heating. The district's Facilities Advisory Committee is working on the issue as well, Spatz said.

Parents also criticized the district for pursuing a new administration building versus dealing with heating problems in elementary school buildings. Spatz said the district has been considering a new building for several years but there are no immediate plans to build a new one.

Parents emailed board members and the superintendent prior to Tuesday's meeting with their complaints. Some said they weren't going to send their kids to school because of the excessive heat in the buildings.

According to D97 spokesperson Chris Jasculca, seven children stayed home Tuesday and 18 kids were picked up after lunch by their parents.


Reader Comments

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Barbara Joan  

Posted: September 12th, 2016 5:06 PM

ALL Employees at the District who have air conditioning should turn off their air conditioning and remove their water coolers. and do as they suggest students do in extreme heat; Have frequent water breaks with drinking water from warm toxic plastic water bottles bottled by some greedy corporation who stole it from a public water source.. They can rotate going into cooler parts of the building and do some of their work outside too. NO NEW BUILDING! Nothing wrong with the present one.

Jennifer Malloy Quinlan  

Posted: September 12th, 2016 9:10 AM

The ten year "plan" still doesn't address this, but yay for a new admin building? Terrible.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: September 18th, 2013 4:18 PM

Lisa, you can take the military comparisons with a grain of salt. It's not lack of compassion at all. I think a broader point, which has validity, is the over-sheltering & coddling of our kids in general. Another valid point is that yes, it's 2013, but the school buildings were built in 1913 (or so). The nifty invention of AC is more than just crazy expensive for our schools; it's very impractical. There are other ways...let's talk in a civil manner about them.


Posted: September 18th, 2013 1:15 PM

Iam stunned by the comparisons to military life and the lack of general compassion for these kids and teachers. Heat is heat. It's 2013 and there is this nifty invention called air conditioning. I understand it is expensive, what I don't understand is the crass commentary here.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 11:33 PM

Sounds like such a simple thing but with a price tag of $15 to $18 million without budgeting for the electric costs this is an unreasonable cost for our climate. Makes more sense to plant trees and delay the school year into September.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 6:06 PM

Done from Oak Park, Smart phone is an oxymoron, an Ipad is a waste of money for students because it makes them lazier, HDTV doesn't have the proper cable to handle the information to keep it from artifacting, and satellite radio many subscribers have complained about the low quality.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 5:55 PM

Laughing, the U.S. Army started changing to the MVA, (Modern Volunteer Army), about 1973. Not a lot of Regular Army Enlisted were in favor of it because they thought it would make training to soft.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 5:08 PM

Done - I have a lot of things that I bought. That's not entitlement. Entitlement is wanting someone else to pay for something. Your kids aren't any better than anyone else's. They can go to the same schools your neighbors went to.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 4:30 PM

OP Transplant - Have a Smartphone? iPad or tablet? use one for work? HDTV? Car with satellite radio? Such entitlements. Jackass.


Posted: September 16th, 2013 4:19 PM

No, they did suffer then as they do today. Makes no sense today, yesterday or tomm. They also had different kinds of windows and interiors. Evolution is fluid. You adapt to the changes and implement what is necessary. Perhaps buildings didnt have fire sprinklers, do you suggest we dont install now?

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 4:06 PM

Laughing - I'm not anti-AC. If the buildings had AC, it would make sense to turn it on. But, they don't. My point is that they never have had it, and kids and teachers have still been able to work successfully. Not just decades ago. Last year. The year before last. This didn't become a higher priority just because your kids are there now. Don't teach your sense of entitlement to your kids.


Posted: September 16th, 2013 3:26 PM

No one said bad parent. Would your company be a bad work place if you worked in conditions like this? Would you frequent a Dr. who had no air? How about a dentist where you have to sit in a chair for 45 minutes? Are you opposed to current play ground equipment since your school had none? The Military does suspend trainning and the like when the heat index exceeds a certain temp. Just like prisons wont let prisoners go outside if its too hot. This isnt Sheriff Joe's District, its our dist.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 2:40 PM

DONE-My kids went to the school where I taught, so, yeah, they experienced pretty much the same conditions. Some of their HS classes had AC, though. They liked that. LAUGHING-I never experienced the military suspending operations because it was hot. Maybe your experience was different. "Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child." Eventually, your child will have to deal with weather. It doesn't make you a bad parent.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 2:25 PM

Laughing, the only difference they had in the Military regarding training and heating was on temperatures about 95 degrees you could pull your shirt out of your pants. That was in Louisiana were a lot of training took place for Viet Nam. You do not train in tennis shoes. You trained in combat boots because that is what you would be wearing in combat.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 1:57 PM

OP Transplant - how many kids do you have? Are they in hot classrooms? And is that OK with you?


Posted: September 16th, 2013 10:07 AM

There are weather policies in the armed forces that dont allow for drills and activities if its too hot. Same for prisons. Our schools, no policy. No AC. I like how OP Transplant says they DID. Notice how it doesnt say I do. Laughing

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 9:54 AM

"Shiela" asks if any of us would work or go to school in these conditions. My answer is yes-not only would I, but I did. I had AC in middle school (newer building) and in some college classes during undergrad (not most.) Otherwise, every classroom was hot. As as a soldier overseas, AC was a rare commodity. Most of the years I taught were in classrooms without AC. Still, from grade school on, I was able to function in the classroom or on duty, in hotter places than this. We're raising weak kids.


Posted: September 16th, 2013 9:30 AM

Its not about "when I or You went to school......" Its about NOW for all of us. Would any of us work, play or choose to be in the temps the kids and teachers are in? Even if some teachers went to school with out AC doesnt mean its any easier for them to teach today in such conditions. The teachers know where their bread is buttered, but trust me, they have opinions regarding the AC as well

This ones for you Q  

Posted: September 16th, 2013 6:08 AM

@ Sweat, I almost NEVER agree with Q but this time I see no problem with his comments. Making a comparison between hot classrooms and foreign sweat shops that employ children is why our kids feel so entitled now. Granted hot rooms suck. I don't remember an air conditioner in my grade school if we even had one. While hot rooms aren't comfortable I'm confident D97 isn't ignoring some deathly hot rooms...we're making these kids crybabies...this is an issue but nothing monumental.


Posted: September 15th, 2013 11:28 PM

Hey Q, The children's sweat shop of Bangladesh on line 2

bjlanning from Oak Park  

Posted: September 15th, 2013 9:21 AM

District has info page on AC and building needs @ Offer ideas and views about this to District FAC committee offered no green or sustainable ideas for the heat problem. Buildings have hot spots. Air condition only the worst parts as Beye penthouse, 3rd floor Longfellow. Use 1:1 ipad initiative for flipped learning and moving large #s of kids with their devices to cooler areas aka Rocketship schools

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 14th, 2013 11:46 PM

Retired Teacher from Oak Park Did you teach your students about Soldiers running through the Jungles of Viet Nam in the heat and humidity and they were able to concentrate in the heat, or the Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and explain to the kids that if they can do it, you kids can adapt to it too. Kids could also learn about how the Military endured very cold Winter's in Germany and Korea. Stop sending wrong messages to kids. Kids are a lot tougher then you know.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 14th, 2013 7:47 PM

I am all for looking into ac for all the schools as long as taxes don't go up. I think this is a time to prioritize our spending. We have spent a lot of money (millions) on new playgrounds, now we are delving into Ipads for all the students. We want all our art and music teachers. Or maybe it is time to have skipped some of these for ac. What I don't agree on is having it all. Choose wisely.

Retired Teacher from Oak Park  

Posted: September 14th, 2013 6:42 PM

I taught for many years on the third floor of Longfellow School. It was without air conditioning and unbearably hot. In that kind of atmosphere, it's hard to concentrate or get anything done. These days it's even worse. Global warming is here and we have to change accordingly.


Posted: September 14th, 2013 12:39 PM

If MOST of the places you will experience as you are older have enjoyable temps, then you are doing no harm to the children. Paleese


Posted: September 14th, 2013 12:37 PM

Not sure thats the message anybody gets consciously.... learned or not when they sit in an air conditioned, bus, train, hospital, house, cab, classroom, church, library, sports arena, camp cabin, dentist and Dr office, store, gas station, convenient store, grocer store, pet store, hospital, pd stations, fire stations, PRISONS, work bldgs, board rooms, etc


Posted: September 14th, 2013 12:13 PM

It's not about letting the kids "tough it out." It's about them learning that conditions of life aren't always ideal but you make do, you create ways to make it work. What is wrong with that lesson? I almost guarantee that the kids didn't mind. It just gives the parents something else to complain about and organize a Facebook group about. You cannot remove all the obstacles in your child's life and it is not doing them any favors to do so. Move on!


Posted: September 14th, 2013 11:28 AM

Why dont we take the heat away? They might be working in Alaska or for Nicor, tearing up the street in the middle of winter. If kids are obese, they are one step close to medical issues with crazy hot conditions. Why is there such things as cooling centers, yet we expect our children and teachers to rough it out? We have plenty o money if used wisely.

New D97 parent  

Posted: September 14th, 2013 9:42 AM

I'm all for sweat and hard work...if one is of age and volunteers for it willingly. When we're talking about young children--some of whom have medical conditions and special needs--it's a different story.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: September 14th, 2013 9:06 AM

Who needs TV when you have these WJ comments? Very entertaining, folks.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: September 14th, 2013 7:57 AM

One of the best things about this conversation is maybe some realize that dealing with less than ideal is a good thing. We all lament the lack of manufacturing jobs yet working in hot tough conditions are what those jobs are. Talked with a foreman on a building today desperately looking to hire a welder at @30hr + benefits. None applied. I wonder why? Maybe as a country we send the wrong message? Maybe a little more sweat and a little less coddling is a good thing?

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 14th, 2013 3:02 AM

Last I heard, sweating, was the body's way of cooling itself. I believe that sweating in a warm environment is a good thing.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 10:54 PM

Jennifer, Blanche mentioned the Children in her class sweat. I thought about why that is, and discovered the reason why. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6?"11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. The district should be commended on their efforts in reducing obesity.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 10:39 PM

Jennifer from Oak Park It's not likely your snowflakes will be going to an Ivy league school like Mr. Middle's kid, and as he said, his kid endured the heat. Mr. AMP says it only takes one law suit from some kid expiring in a hot classroom. Maybe you and Mr. AMP can get together and gather how many kids across the country have expired by sitting in a hot classroom. Your snowflakes will eventually graduate and this will all be behind you. Let the district use the money to hire Professor's.

Blanche from Chicago  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 7:56 PM

Children in my class are sweaty, lethargic, unable to concentrate. We go to crowded cooling areas where we try to teach with few resources above the din. Or, we stay in the hot classroom and the children struggle to hear over the fans. I come home and take a nap, completely exhausted from the heat. Each year, I dread the summer months as I know what misery awaits. I describe it as sitting in your attic, with a blowdryer on your face for 8 hours.

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 4:44 PM

Brian - went to Catholic School. No fans. Just opened windows. Had Nuns! They wore layers of black clothes, head coverings, and a starched white bib. We never complained about the heat. We didn't even sweat - think sweating was a sin. No complaints from us. We were scared.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 4:22 PM

@Jennifer. I operate and build restaurants. I have spent a large portion of my life in a hot kitchen even on a day like this. Hot working conditions exist in many places in our economy from construction , restaurant and manufacturing sectors. You simply must not be aware. On Tuesday my kitchens where in the high 90s all day unable to keep up until late in the day. On that same day 5 men installed a new heat pump on a my roof where it was 115. So you are just ill-informed.


Posted: September 13th, 2013 3:09 PM

@brian Slowiak - The Catholic schools handled the heat by issuing full wool uniforms and advising their hapless students to "tough it out".

brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 2:30 PM

How did the Catholic schools in Oak Park handle the problem? If this was a health or safety problem, why weren't the students given their assignments and told to stay home until the heat breaks?

Supernintendo Chalmers from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 1:21 PM

This topic is certainly getting people hot and bothered. Can everyone just cool it please?

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 1:00 PM

Ginger Brown Vanderveer made constructive suggestions that are worth serious consideration. Perhaps we could turn to some of our community's green environmental experts to help improve the situation in a way that is affordable for District 97. That could be an innovative learning situation for all of us.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 12:26 PM

Are you people for real? Does anyone truly think we are at risk for kids dying in class from heat injury, in northern Illinois? Is there anything in the district's history, or that of surrounding districts, that suggests there's any risk at all of that happening? These buildings have never been air conditioned, and yet we've never have the kind of apocalyptic problems people are predicting here. Try to get some perspective, people.

Dollars and Sense  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 12:24 PM

It will cost more today then it did 20 yrs ago and less than it will 20 yrs from now. Include a lawsuit to defend and your talking more money.

New 97 parent  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 12:15 PM

I give high marks to D97 for the communication...even if convoluted. The backstory was helpful...but sad that this wasn't taken care of years ago to avoid making it a complicated, controversial problem now. This could have been done quietly and cheaply over a few decades without fuss. I get the difficulties involved, but they made the bed so now they have to sleep in it. It's going to have to be taken care of eventually and the longer we wait the more $$$ and more complaints on both sides.


Posted: September 13th, 2013 12:11 PM

Window units do not require any more than what they have. Even if they required more, thats not a huge expense. The lawsuit from a child dying in class, and it only takes 1, will far exceed any cost to upgrade current conditions.

Jennifer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 12:04 PM

Mr Middle, are you Dr. Roberts? You seem to be parroting him. I'll ask again, which of you would, in this day and age, work under similar circumstances at least 10% of the time (more since teachers DO in fact work over the summer). Please note the silence of the teachers. Why do you think that is?

Mr. Middle  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 11:55 AM

@Duh..Options? Have you looked at the school finances? Just because I want something does not mean I can have it. @Dollars..Minimum 10 classrooms would need 250amps more electric to be safe for window or ductless unit. Read D97 website for more information. Window units in a classroom is a big deal. If you did the HVAC math on room size, bodies and insulation you would see what a folly your suggestion is. This is a small problem and deserves little action.


Posted: September 13th, 2013 11:43 AM

Why was there school closing on the scroller this past week due to excessive heat. Heat kills. If its cold, heat works. If its hot, AC works. Why are there all the people suggesting we should live through it when we have options to IMPROVE it?

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 11:37 AM

Not to belabor the obvious, but neither the buildings nor the northern Illinois climate have changed. Countless students, teachers, and staff have worked successfully under identical conditions. Please understand that this didn't suddenly become a higher priority expenditure for the entire community simply because your kids are now in the building instead of mine.

Cheap solution  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 11:09 AM

Maybe we could offer all our children and teachers hand fans as they walk into the classrooms every HOT day.

Dollars and Sense  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 11:04 AM

Its not just about the students. There are teachers and staff that are there EVERY YR. Lets not play games with the numbers of days over or under a certain temp. When does someone put their air on? 75 seems to be a reasonable temp that people could work and learn in. That might increase the days in your data. The electrical issue is blown way out of proportion. Window units or the like would be very affordable. If it was cold, they would turn the heat on. Simple

Mr. Middle  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 10:27 AM

Thanks for link Sensible. D97 very wisely pointed out the danger of a bunch of window units and the folly of this whole discussion. There is no money and very little that can be done in the short term. Heat in OP schools is a low priority and should be. Its 51 degrees right now so enjoy.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 10:18 AM

@ Jennifer First I said if you took a random look at two days 2 out of last 3 years the temps where in the 70s. I then said that 20 school days are apprx 10% of all days. Spend for that? Window units overload electric and can be dangerous. Air quality is poor using temp AC. Many students have graduated and prospered under these current conditions. Your sensitivity to this issue deserves a C+ priority. I know construction. Pretty simple to understand.

Sensible Parent  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 9:56 AM

District 97 has posted info on the air conditioning issue.

Jennifer from Oak Park   

Posted: September 13th, 2013 9:32 AM

Mr. Middle? You have knowledge of what things? Plans for extreme heat situations? One air conditioned room per grade level? Arrangements for portable AC units on contingency? You see, the parents ARE NOT ASKING FOR $1.5 million dollar units per school. We are asking for a discussion and alternatives to our kids sitting in a 95 degree room all day. You said it was one two days a year. I showed you it is not. Now you are giving us data that has nothing to do with anything that we are discussing.

Ginger Brown Vanderveer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 8:36 AM

What do the roofs of these buildings look like? By painting the roofs with a reflective, white coating the temperatures inside the building can be reduced by ten degrees. What about trees? Are there any trees near the building? Vegetation near a building can reduce temperatures in and around a building by several degrees. What about schools that are surrounded by blacktop? Blacktop increases temperatures by tens of degrees - paint them white. These are all permanent, low cost solutions.


Posted: September 13th, 2013 8:34 AM

Geothermal! Grants are available. Tax incentives. Takes care of the temperature year around. Each school has enough land surrounding the school to make the install feasible.

D97 Parent 5243 from Oak Park  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 8:06 AM

If the schools make the investment in AC, there is no reason the district should not switch to year around school, which is better for the learning and prevents wasting the first few weeks of school re-learning what the kids forgot over the summer playing video games. Careful what you wish for, it may have unintended consequences.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: September 13th, 2013 6:53 AM

@Jennifer and all...I have some knowledge of these things so I will put it in context. Does $1.5M investment per school and $15K per year in operating cost worth 10% of school days that are hot? I have a son who lived through OP schools and now is at an IVY college with some classrooms still no AC and no dorms AC at all? They start school 8/15. Given the whole picture of things AC is a c+ or b- priority.

Thank you Sensible Parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 11:15 PM

Glad there is still one left in Oak Park.

Jennifer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 10:33 PM

Ah Q, there you are again, trolling. Maybe you liked your kids taught by school marms with a 9th grade education, but that is not my goal for my precious darlings. I appreciate that our district attracts teachers with advanced degrees and specialized certifications, and I see the value in treating them with dignity and respect. You see Sir, it is not *all* about my special snowflakes: mock them all you wish. The value in your house is directly related to the excellence of our schools.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 9:43 PM

Neighbor from Oak Park I'm sure you feel your parents didn't like you because you had to suffer through a hot classroom, and now you don't want your kids to feel resentment towards you. Your kids are not suffering, they are enduring a very temporary situation and only reacting to you telling them they shouldn't have to learn to endure anything. If you had a houseful of kid geniuses, they could have skipped the enduring lesson, and advanced to an air conditioned college.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 9:21 PM

Jennifer from Oak Park, here's proof that even your kids can learn in a hot classroom. Ernest Hemingway, Bob Newhart, Dan Castellaneta, Ray Kroc, Frank Lloyd Wright, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Sensible Parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 8:55 PM

Oh, and the idea of pooling PTO money comes up from time to time but doesn't fly. Parents are motivated to give for targeted projects that benefit their own children and less inclined to hand over money to a general fund that requires them to forfeit any say in how the money will be spent.

Speedway from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 8:49 PM

This issue was brought up last year when D97 wanted a new admin building. D97 said at that time that the school wiring was an issue in putting in window air conditioners or central air. Fixing this issue would be very costly but they were looking into it. I haven't heard any more since then from D97 on this issue.

Sensible Parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 8:37 PM

Um, some people are over-dramatizing here. My kid has asthma and attended Lincoln, including 5th grade on the third floor. Of course he noticed it was hot, but he said it never bothered him. Like many other OP kids, he plays sports in the heat, in the sunshine too. If kids couldn't take the heat, we wouldn't have a football team at OPRF, or a baseball team, or soccer, or tennis, etc.

Idea Man  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 8:12 PM

How about pooling all PTO money and then distribute it evenly. When I pay my taxes I can't choose which school gets the money, it's really no different. If you think some PTOs will be angry that others are aren't pulling their own weight then you are starting to understand how some tax payers feel.

Neighbor from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 7:25 PM

Why should students and teachers have to suffer and try to learn under extreme heat conditions just because some of you old timers and your children did in the past? It's not about character. How many of you turned off the air in your car or bedrooms these past few days to make yourselves tougher? Is it possible for the PTO of all elementary schools join together and fund raise for window a/c for all--if Dist. 97 can agree to pay the electric bills? Probably a long shot, but worth a thought..

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 5:43 PM

The more hyperbole, the less substance. If hot classrooms are "life threatening" then I can only assume that a lot of students died at school before the advent of AC. Weird that I never heard about that - I was IN grade school then. Also strange that the "superheated microbial soup" spared most of the students, who have attended all week. My kids went to the same schools, and they were,and still are, fine. Relax, people!

Stop the Insanity  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 5:14 PM

I kept my Lincoln student home Tues.after becoming sick from superheated microbial soup in his third floor classroom. He runs a fever/contracts a virus every Aug. return to school. Those who want students to tough it out, should spend a day volunteering on hot days. Also being lost in this discussion are the students with special needs like asthma, seizure disorder, ragweed allergy etc. for whom superheated classrooms are life-threatening.

Stop the Insanity  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 5:02 PM

Several years ago I approached Lincoln PTO parents in power with suggestion to buy window or portable A/C units with PTO funds. I received support to pursue this, but soon ran into a bureaucratic brick wall. There's a district equality policy about PTO expenditures. One PTO cannot provide its school with costly gifts if other PTOs do not have funds to purchase same. Example: Irving PTO does not have as deep of pockets as Lincoln, so no A/C purchase.

New D97 parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 5:00 PM

I've heard rumblings from neighbors since I moved a couple years ago. So I don't think this is "new" just current since it's been so's on everybody's mind. But we also know more than we did 20 years ago about conditions where children learn best and are more aware of health issues. We know more about disabilities, allergies, on and on. I don't think this is weaker parents or's knowing better because of more available info.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 4:46 PM

What's surprising to me, as someone whose kids attended these grade schools years ago, is the sense that September heat in the schools is some new phenomenon that needs to be addressed. There are a few hot days, then it cools off, and everybody's fine. Why is this being treated like an emergent problem that requires immediate intervention? If the buildings are the same and the climate is the same, what's different? Oh, yeah...different parents.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 4:27 PM

We should declare all D97 schools Perspiration-Free Zones, and give all the kids more milk.

New D97 parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 4:26 PM

Couldn't agree more with Current Parent and Dollars and Sense. Move the school year to after Labor Day and let's start to eat this elephant one bite at a time. The longer we delay the more expensive the inevitable becomes. D97 is responsible for providing a safe, healthy, comfortable learning environment for every child across the district. Let's get to it.

Current D97 parent of 12 years  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 4:05 PM

Why don't we just move the start of school back where it belongs - after Labor Day.

Jennifer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 3:21 PM

Sir, 9/8 and 9/9/2012 were a Saturday and Sunday. Not applicable. Here are the calendar SCHOOL days that were above 85 degrees last school year. 8/23/12 -91, 8/24/12 -93, 8/27/12 88, 8/28/12 85, 8/30/12 -91, 8/31/12 -93, 9/4/12 - 89, 9/5/12 -86, 9/6/12- 86, 9/12/12 -87, 4/30- 86, 5/1 -85, 5/14 -90, 5/20 -92, 5/29 -87. The temperature in the third floor classrooms (where my kids are) get much hotter than these recorded temps at least 10% of the year, not "just a few days".

Dollars and Sense  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 3:12 PM

The problem is NOT going away. We used to not use seatbelts. Not wise. Today we mandate seatbelt use. WISE. This is clearly a prioritizing of dollars to get what has needed to be done for some time. It will cost more than it did 10 yrs ago, and less than it will 10 yrs from now. Its time to pull the trigger and get the transformation in motion, one school at a time.

Sensible Parent from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 3:09 PM

The suggestions by Uncommon Sense make the most sense. We should not throw millions of dollars at every problem/instructional fad/new product from Apple. The solution is to get some unit air conditioners and write a policy that allows the vocal minority who want to keep their kids home to do so and make up the work they miss later.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 3:01 PM

@ Jennifer So in 2012 on 9/8 and 9/9 it was 72 and 73 degrees. And the year before it was also 72 & 73. So do we spend money to deal with the unusual? dealing with the heat is a few days out of the school year and should have no long term impact.

Jennifer from Oak Park   

Posted: September 12th, 2013 2:52 PM

Not to mention, we parents are NOT being unreasonable. We are not asking for central air installed in all the rooms of all the schools (yet). We are asking for reasonable accommodations to be set in place AND USED for teachers and students who are stuck rooms that are disgustingly uncomfortable. See now, I pay taxes, a lot of taxes. I support referendums that are meant to improve the schools. Sorry, but warm bottles of water and (unfrozen) ice pops (that are not handed out) are not reasonable.

Pay it forward from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 2:46 PM

I'm curious how someone moves to Oak Park without noticing that most of the buildings here, inclulding the schools, date from the 1920's and earlier. Perhaps those who insist on air conditioning "on principle" would feel more at home in Schaumburg or the newly built sections of Naperville.

Jennifer from Oak Park   

Posted: September 12th, 2013 2:16 PM

Q from Oak Park? Do you have anything valuable to add to this discussion or are you bent on hounding me for your own amusement? Your unintelligible remarks contribute nothing to this topic.

Jennifer from Oak park   

Posted: September 12th, 2013 2:13 PM

We've had 13 days of school thus far. Of those days, eight of them have been higher than 85. Six of them have been higher than 90 degrees. To break it down, 8/26 - 92, 8/27 - 96, 8/29 - 87, 8/30 - 96, 9/6 - 85, 9/9 - 94, 9/10 - 96, 9/11- 93. More than half the year spent in "rotating classrooms and cooling areas". Any other questions?

New D97 parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 2:10 PM

As a newer resident, I am interested to hear why these buildings weren't updated to A/C in the previous decades. This is really the fault of whoever was on the board 30 years ago for not doing their duty then. Or why was the community decision made to build modern middle schools without addressing the lower grades, too? Any old timers care to shed some light?

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:45 PM

Jennifer from Oak Park if technology advancements are so great, why isn't the signal sending to your television monitor fast enough so it doesn't cause artifacting or why is it that computers are vulnerable to virus's.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:44 PM

Jennifer from Oak Park Identity theft happens because people like you think giving out personal information over the internet is an advancement and gives you extra time to do the things you want like playing on facebook at work. Cell phones now can control functions in your home when you are so busy just trying to get to work, or you can watch your kids from your computer at work when you should be working.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:43 PM

Jennifer from Oak Park Why do you give up your drivers license number at Best Buy when you return an item that was not working because today's technology doesn't require or expect products to be made with quality control. Go to your internet and check the real sweatshops in China, where your technology is being made if your cable is working.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:43 PM

We have turned into a nation of wussies. Regardless, buy some window units, fans, or a portable AC units and be done with it, good grief. Take the money out of the ipad budget or one of those flavor of the month teaching styles that always need $1 million to implement. Or maybe get rid of one $100k plus administrator.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:43 PM

Jennifer from Oak Park Why don't you give some thought to the workers who built the schools outdoors. I know this is difficult for you to accept, but not all kids are going to be inventing the next gadget in an air conditioned environment. Accept the idea that your kid may be working outdoors on projects that will benefit people.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:42 PM

OP has had the same grade school buildings for at least decades. There have always been a few hot days in September. Nothing has changed, and yet this year the temperature in the classrooms is suddenly "life threatening." D97 has enough challenges to meet without parents manufacturing new ones where they didn't exist before. Everyone came out of these three hot days just fine. If there are a few hot days next year, that will be fine too. The sky is not falling.

Current D97 parent of 12 years  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:37 PM

Jennifer use real numbers and maybe then you can make an argument. An average of 20 schooldays with temperature at 90? I can't take you seriously.


Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:22 PM

"OP Transplant Needs One" posted, "If you cared more about the classroom environment maybe you'd not be working jobs where they don't have air conditioning." I don't understand where such a condescending and uneducated attitude comes from.

Jennifer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 1:19 PM

All of those not on favor of air conditioning in classrooms I ask, would you be willing to work an average of 20 days a year in a 90 degree room with 22 other people? All of those who grew up without central air do you not have it now on principle? Do you have computers (oh wait...., not *true* Luddites, are we now)? Still have push movers, no remote tvs, and manual transmissions while beating rugs on a line out back? Are we trying to teach the kids Common Core or Depression Era Values here?

Chicagp Tribune Picks Up The Story  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 12:53 PM

This will likely put more pressure on the district and the board to recognize this serious issue.


Posted: September 12th, 2013 12:47 PM

Also, ceiling fans help a lot in the summer.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 12:45 PM

May I ask how many cases of heat injury had to be treated in the three hot days students experienced? Judging from the strident calls to action I'm reading, I assume that local emergency rooms were full of D97 students. Or were there maybe, none at all? Did our kids withstand a few days of discomfort just like kids all over the world have done for generations? Did everything turn out okay, just like it did last year, and the year before, and the year before...?


Posted: September 12th, 2013 12:44 PM

No A/C growing up, but GS was only one floor, HS two-- & on the edge of open land. Working in bldgs with central AC, no individual thermostat, & sealed windows, I have found the cold can be distracting at certain times of day. (Sweaters don't keep women's noses warm!) Using AC window units for a short time each year sounds like a good solution.

OP Transplant Yourself Elsewhere  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 12:38 PM

OP Transplant was obviously kicked around a lot as a child and was told to toughen up. She now needs a newspaper comment section to show she's toughened up. What else would explain her anger?

New D97 parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 12:05 PM

My concern is with how much knowledge staff and teachers have about heat illness, the warning signs, what to do, etc. Young kids aren't going to know the danger and probably don't know to speak up at the onset of symptoms. If we're not going to A/C we need a plan in place where kids who need it have access to a cooling center, and we realize that in 90+ days there is going to have to be minimal activity and extra attention to hydration. Take your pick: A/C, an action plan, or cancel class.

OP Res 253 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 11:47 AM

Oh, if we only had the $500,000 spent last year on FastFailure, er FastForward, which is apparently being abandoned this year. That could provide window units for 500 classrooms. Wouldn't get the rooms chilly, but tolerable. And return the focus where it belongs, teaching subject mastery through teaching, not gimmicks.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 11:35 AM

Manning - I agree that there are different kinds of tough. Most of us of a certain age went to schools that were not AC'ed for at least part of our lives. Hell, I went to a Big Ten university, and most of my classrooms didn't have AC. When my kids were young, I assumed that if I could do something, so could they. We've reached a weird cultural point where we now assume that our children are less capable than we were. We can't imagine them facing things we took for granted at their age. Why?

Old Colleague  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 11:23 AM

The younger students try to tolerate the heated classrooms. They are the most wonderful children. Usually they feel ill, hide their discomfort,and try to please the teacher. There should be equity for AC from elementary to Middle School.


Posted: September 12th, 2013 11:19 AM

There's different kinds of tough. I've been a strong and vocal advocate for a more rigorous, mastery-based math curriculum, for example. Teaching our kids how to not pass out in a sweatshop? I'm not sure the pedagogical value of that lesson. D97 kids face many real challenges in and out of school. Instead of wasting time planning on a new shiny admin building for themselves, parents want D97 to look into options other than their current "let them eat popsicles" strategy.

entertained at longfellow from oak park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 10:58 AM

One of the leaders of the complainers at Longfellow is completely insane. She was walking around at pick-up going from parent to parent explaining the "Roberts doesn't sign her paycheck" and that the schools only care about taking in more tax dollars. It was actually funny to see this idiot of a mom make a fool of herself and her child because of 3 hot days.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 10:54 AM

Maning - Toughness is not without value in the workplace. If we teach children that they are only expected to function in optimal conditions, we better be ready to provide them with optimal conditions for the rest of their lives. For many OP and RF parents, these optimal conditions can be found in their own homes, where their grown children still live.


Posted: September 12th, 2013 10:38 AM

The board room at the Admin building has 6 air ducts for AC. The AC was working just fine at the BOE Meeting Tuesday.


Posted: September 12th, 2013 10:36 AM

Is the point of school to make kids "tough", or to prepare them for higher education and the 21st century workforce? I am not sure we should be setting our sights on the academic achievements of the rural south when deciding where to spend our tax dollars. Children have great difficulty learning and focusing when their rooms are over 80. (Which is why downtown office bldgs are so cold in summer) The first two weeks of this academic year were basically wasted.


Posted: September 12th, 2013 10:21 AM

Meeting tonight to cover AC issues. Admin bldg 7pm

Voice of Reason from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 10:02 AM

What ever happened to the Green concept. While I agree with Idea's concept of cutting admin salaries, to use the money for AC units is a very inefficient use of electricity. Let's teach the kids that if they want to stop Global Warming in the long run, they need to endure the heat in the short run.

an idea  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 9:28 AM

let's take a little bit from the ridiculous 6-figure salaries and 6-figure pensions our not-very-good administrators get and use it to buy some air conditioners.


Posted: September 12th, 2013 9:22 AM

FAC Meeting Tonight, Sept. 12th, 7PM, 970 Madison. Public Comments 1st item on the agenda.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 9:17 AM

to "OP Transplant Needs One" - I have a graduate degree and a good business, but I grew up without money, and I worked a lot of undesirable jobs to get my education. I've never dug ditches as you suggest, but I've done farm work (all summer!), and I've been a soldier in a couple of pretty unpleasant environments. I'm not from Oak Park, though, so having worked hard doesn't embarrass me.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 8:55 AM

It's no compliment that generations of kids have gone to these schools in September, and even August, and been just fine, but your kids are the first generation who can't handle it. "Life threatening"! Give me a break.

Voice of Reason from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 8:21 AM

I remember that my kids used to complain that Julian was too cold when the AC was turned on and too warm in the winter. I think temperature variation builds character and endurance. This is why we all live in the Midwest!

Tired of Taxes from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 8:09 AM

I have lived in the Chicago area my entire life and I always thought that we used to consider 100 degree days to be extreme heat. Yes, 90 degrees is uncomfortable, not a good day to be out on a chain gang, but a couple of days like yesterday do not warrant the millions it would take to upgrade eight elementary schools to AC.

ETS from Oak park  

Posted: September 12th, 2013 12:53 AM

Really? I went to school at Lincoln with no air conditioning and survived. It's rare that its hot in September but back then no one cared. Legions of people managed to get educated without air conditioning. Stop babying these kids and teach them that sometimes things aren't perfect. If you are so concerned keep your kid at home or if you can't, send them to an AC babysitter. Sounds like wasted funds to ac schools for 2-4 days A YEAR that are a problem. Put our tax dollars to better use!!

Harry Volkman from WBBM  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 10:54 PM

I'm calling for a forecast high of 68 degrees on Friday. 7 day forecast calls for highs in the low to mid 70's. So put your wallets back in your pockets D97. All will be forgotten soon enough.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 10:54 PM

My Cave Has Air Conditioning Flinging dung out your cave teaches your kids that in life, some day's they will be flinging, and others they will be flung on, but whichever type of day they are having, they are learning to hold their heads up, even when they are stepping in it.

My Cave Has Air Conditioning  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 10:15 PM

Q From Oak Park, I do in fact do the dump and throw from my comfortable cave. Now if we could just get air condtioning and humane environment for our young children in school, we'd not have to worry so much about taking care of the simple minded of the village.

OP resident  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 9:53 PM

I think the point here is that the kids and teachers are trying to work in incredibly uncomfortable conditions yet the district administrators want to build themselves a new building. Keep the A/C building you already have and use your TIF money to improve the infrastructure of your staff. The heat situation isn't going away.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 9:49 PM

OP Transplant Needs One If people didn't work outside building homes and digging holes for sewer's, you would be taking dumps in a bucket and throwing them out your cave.

OP Resident   

Posted: September 11th, 2013 9:47 PM

How many days were the "poor kids" affected by this heat? 2-3 days? It isn't something that is put upon them the whole school year. Talk about overblowing a situation. No wonder teachers don't want to go into administration any more. Who wants to put up with this type of parent? Totally ridiculous.

Mike Lennox from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 9:44 PM

When I was a boy......

Jennifer from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 9:26 PM

Weird.. the District has how much money in the bank? 3-4-5 million dollars? I heard there was a ton of confusion regarding the actual, true amount. Anyway, maybe the teachers should take this grievance and put it in their new contract. I mean, Section III, Chapter 2, Subsection V of the OSHA Technical Manual, the agency does recommend temperature control in the range of 68-76 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity control in the range of 20 percent to 60 percent.

Veronica from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 9:02 PM

We had curriculum night at Lincoln School and at 7:30 pm in the evening, I was sweating in the classroom after 20 minutes. I can't imagine the poor students in that classroom during the day with no air conditiioning. The IT person was so proud to say that the schools will have better technology this year, I vote for better heating and cooling.

Ruth from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 8:53 PM

In the 19 years I've lived in Oak Park, I have yet to see a concern raised by parents that has been welcomed. Just once I'd like to see a school administrator say, "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We probably should have developed a plan to address this a long time ago, and we apologize for our inadequacies. We plan to act on this matter immediately!"

local from oak park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 7:11 PM

I can't believe this. Too hot? Really, what kind of kids are we raising these days? Ribbons and trophies for all, don't keep score, must have a/c. No a/c for me growing up until the "new" HS building was built. I do not have central a/c in my home now. We are raising kids who are being taught that if things get tough, quit, or cry, or say not fair. Some of these parents really ought to be ashamed of themselves. You want tough? Visit the rural South for a taste of tough.


Posted: September 11th, 2013 6:55 PM

Speechless. A few days of heat and the parents are demanding a "plan." Do they know that on ANY day of the week, students don't sit six hours in their seats in the classroom? I can't believe the new Oak Park parents.


Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:39 PM

The D97 FAC - Facility Advisory Council - is meeting tomorrow night Sept. 12th. If anyone is interested in hearing what *is actually being done to resolve this issue or what is not being done.

Concerned Parent  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:28 PM

If you add up classtime of hot weeks, it's 10% of the school year. The most telling moment at the Board meeting was when a parent pointed out that the district has no criteria for canceling classes on hot days and no contingency plans in place for cancellation. Even Illinois prisons have plans for heat. Thus, the Board is flat-footed in crises and cave to keeping our students baking in 100degree heat because they fear many parents depend on schools as a form of babysitting. #learningfail

OP Transplant Needs One  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:19 PM

OP Transplant - maybe you spent a little too much time digging ditches in your outdoor job and its affecting your senses. If you cared more about the classroom environment maybe you'd not be working jobs where they don't have air conditioning.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:18 PM

Your child may be on the way to developing coccydynia. It can develop from years of sitting on hard chairs at school.

Longfellow Parent  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:11 PM

I don't think they need A/C. I think they need a written, workable plan to deal with extreme heat days the same way they have plans for other emergencies. They also need to admit that the buildings are old & problematic and there needs to be a written, workable plan w/a timetable for fixing all of them.

Joe Coffey  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:09 PM

If you don't like the weather, wait a while and it will change. Schools elsewhere start later, thus minimizing the potential number of 90 degree days. Concerned parents can keep their kids home, and parents who need to cans send the kids to school, where they can try to cool them off, and parents need not scramble for day care. I love the anecdotal evidence from the mom of the Lincoln student: one vomiting student is too many!

RLM from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:02 PM

Don't think we need to pay 100s of thousands to backwards install central air..I don't even have central air in my home. BUT, that classroom last night at 6pm was SWELTERING. I could not believe that is what my kid sits through for 6 hours. They have been sharing rooms, going to the auditorium (A/C), and trying to share the benefits of the 1 fan in the room. We need some type of alternate cooling method--even if its a $79 power fan in each room. Not the $19 floor fan that was in there.

RLM from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 5:00 PM

I'd rather window unit noise than being concerned about my asthmatic child or my other daughter's pregnant teacher passing out...and we don't need a referendum, we have the money...hence the lovely iPads. LOL. I think the District (and many of us) take it for granted it doesn't get that hot in Chicago from Sept-June. Global warming has made us all liars. We need to have some type of plan to maximize learning and safety, period.

Former D97 student from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 4:26 PM

For the over $10,000 I spend on property taxes each year, it is truly befuddling how D97 can't find the budget dollars for air conditioning in these classrooms. #oakparkfail

Rachel from Oak park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 4:16 PM

Yes, a widow unit air conditioner may make noise but not as much noise as the 5 fans running in my daughters 3rd floor Longfellow classroom. If it were winter and it was the heating system that wasn't working and our kids had to wear parkas during class there wouldn't be a debate. Why are classroom nearing 90 degrees any different?

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 4:16 PM

Reality, Sure I'll work in an 85 degree office as long as I get recess every day, and lots of milk.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 4:13 PM

Reality Check - Have you honestly never had to work in uncomfortable conditions? I went to schools without air conditioning, I've had jobs where I worked outside, I've taught school in classrooms without AC, I've lived places without AC. People are writing that classroom temperatures are "life-threatening." Like a classroom in Oak Park, IL is the hottest place people have ever tried to survive! Silliness!

OP resident  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 4:10 PM

This problem isn't going away people and I'm sure many of you who have the "deal with it" attitude do not work in the conditions are kids are working in. These conditions are extreme and teachers can't get anything done when they aren't in their classroom.

Pay it forward?  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 4:05 PM

Sure, let's teach our children that the solution to the slightest discomfort is to flip a switch and burn a few thousand more tons of coal. What harm could that possibly do?

Reality Check  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 3:59 PM

To all reading this article and comments there is one single question to ask: Would you tolerate your employer providing work conditions where the room temperature was above 85 degrees? Then why do assume children should be forced to work under such conditions? To make them mentally tougher? The community bares responsibility for this issue, not just the administration. Shame on all of us as guardians.

Dan M from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 3:50 PM

Why don't we pass a referendum to get AC in to all our public schools. LOL

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 3:35 PM

New - I agree with all that you say, but, being new to the district, have you gotten a tax bill yet or seen previous tax bills? Residents are already taxed out the a^$ and adding new elementary school buildings is just not fiscally possible. Updated - yes. No argument there. But this is where the Facilities Committee need sto be allowed to do there job as opposed to suggest fixes to be nixed by the board as "too expensive".

New D97 parent  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 3:14 PM

We're new to the district so I've only been in a few of the buildings, but the ones I've been in left me with the impression that we need new elementary school buildings soon. They're a bit embarrassing. Not just AC, but the whole design and setup of a few of them needs a gut-to-the-walls. Heat illness is real and serious to the point of being life-threatening. I'd not think twice keeping my kids home on hot days. But not everybody has that luxury. It's not just uncomfortable but unsafe.

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 3:11 PM

From a company called Sunbelt Rentals in Countryside: 25 TON AIR CONDITIONER W/HEATER 480V 3PH Daily:$660 Weekly:$1,757 Four Week:$4,725 Cat-Class 107-0230 Amp Rating 134, 57 Cooling Area* 5,000/10,000 sq. ft. The district rents thes etypes of units for Julian's CAST program during the summer to keep the gyn somewhat cool for performances. Seems like this would be tolerable solution until a permanent - or even make this a permanent solution because of cost - sloutin is found.

OP Transplant  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 3:10 PM

RLM - Window units are a double-edged sword - they're noisy. Replace one distraction with another.

Kim in OP from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 2:54 PM

You can bet that if the district offices had no AC, they would all have been closed days ago.

RLM from Oak Park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 2:52 PM

I attended Open House at Lincoln last night and after spending 10 minutes in the classroom had sweat dripping down my face. I asked my daughter is it always THAT hot and she said yes, but that they go to the auditorium and other rooms that have air so its not AS bad. I understand why the schools don't have AC, and think at minimum window AC should be deployed when we DO have this type of weather: less expensive, portable to areas that need it most, and still relief.


Posted: September 11th, 2013 2:51 PM

Anyone thinking kids are too "delicate" if they cannot tolerate days and days of classrooms at 88 degrees clearly has little sense of reality. Try visiting the classrooms; Observe the little red, sweaty faces; Sit with the kindergarten teachers who are cramming two classes into one room in order to share cooler space; Watch those kids with asthma struggle breathing in the heat. There is absolutely no educating occurring to the frustration of both parents and our great teachers. from OakPark  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 2:50 PM

I wasn't able to attend the board meeting because of Lincoln school's open house/curriculum night being at the same time. I would have spoken. My daughter was ill after school. And I heard several incidents of children vomiting from the heat. A plan is necessary.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 2:36 PM

Drink Water. Beat the heat D97 Beat the heat!

Kay from River Forest  

Posted: September 11th, 2013 2:29 PM

Yes, many of our school buildings are very warm and it does make the day challenging, but canceling school sends a very dangerous message to our children. The message is this-you can not handle difficult things, you are too delicate, you can not learn or succeed unless the conditions are just right. Acknowledge that the buildings are not ideal and then hunker down and encourage everyone to find ways to keep cool, find ways to focus, find ways to get through the day. This empowers our children.

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