PUEBLO – Southern Colorado’s record temperatures are heating up classrooms in Pueblo schools. “It’s extremely hot and there’s no relief,” said Pueblo resident, Mike Correa. Correa is concerned about his grandkids who attend school in Pueblo where some schools do not have air conditioning.
There are days they have come home complaining of headaches and nausea. “Going to squirm, we’re not going to focus and there’s no relief,” said Correa, “Our concerns is we hope that some way, they can take care of the situation and get some air conditioning in there.”
In addition to the heat, this year there longer school days because of Pueblo’s switch to four day a week school. “It’s extremely hot and they’re going seven hours and 50 minutes a day and of course we know the [most intense] heat starts at 2:00 and they’re going to 4:20,” said Correa.
“The age of our buildings and many of them operating without air conditioning, the heat is always going to be a concern, said Pueblo City Schools, Spokesman, Dalton Sprouse. District leaders say there are structural limitations with older schools, also budget restrictions that are barriers to adding air conditioning. They put in place other relief measures.
“We provide bottles of water to any school that requests that. We make sure our students stay hydrated. We encourage our teachers to kind of move and rotate students to cooler areas of the building.” They also encourage keeping blinds down and windows open.
Parents can also opt to keep their child home if they think it is too hot. “Anytime there’s extreme conditions, whether that’s ice on the street or heat coming into the building, it’s always the parents’ final decision whether they want to send their child to school or not,” said Sprouse. It is an excused absence and the child will have to make up any assignments missed.
Family members talking about the heat concerns hope for some brainstorming, toward other solutions. “We kind of want the community to be aware that there are schools out there that are suffering,” said Suzie Correa