Long Beach schools battle heat wave on first day of school

Long Beach school officials and staff took measures to keep kids cool at schools with and without school-wide air conditioning.

Jaysha Patel Image
Thursday, September 1, 2022
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Long Beach school officials and staff took measures to keep kids cool at schools with and without school-wide air conditioning.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Long Beach Unified School District students returned to class Wednesday.

"A little nervous for him but excited for him to start learning, meeting new little kids," said Geovanne Garcia, a father of a student at Clara Barton Elementary School.

Parents did what they could to keep their kids cool before sending them off to the first day of school.

"Just hydrated. We put sunblock on him so he doesn't get burned," said Alma Martinez, a mother of a student at Clara Barton Elementary School.

Clara Barton Elementary School has air conditioning, but measures were taken to keep kids cool during the day. Bungalows and the auditorium were open for kids during recess.

Officials say additional measures were taken for schools that do not have air conditioning in all buildings.

"About three-quarters of our buildings are air conditioned, those that aren't will use areas that are air conditioned, so they'll use them as cooling stations. They'll keep the lights down, use oscillating fans, ask students and parents to be hydrating and they will minimize outdoor activity, especially as we go through this week," said Jill Baker, superintendent of schools at LBUSD.

Schools like Emerson Parkside Academy in Long Beach do not have air conditioning in all of their buildings. They opened windows in hallways to combat the heat. Teachers also took turns going to air-conditioned bungalows. Classrooms had ceiling fans.

Fortunately, Wednesday was a short school day for most students in Long Beach, so some students were able to head home early afternoon.

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