BOSTON (WHDH) - With Boston public schools about to open in the midst of hot weather this week, plans are underway to keep students cool.
The first day of school for most students is set for Thursday when high temperatures could rise past 90 degrees in some spots.
“It takes an incredible amount of planning and coordination and staff time and resources to try to manage when many, many of our buildings are just old and need to be updated,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.
Wu said most but not all of Boston’s public schools have some kind of air condition — either from central air systems or from more than 3,000 window units installed during the past five months.
Getting to school cool and comfortable, though, is a challenge since most buses don’t have air conditioning, officials said.
With the region’s latest round of warm weather already upon the city of Boston, leaders on Wednesday were also thinking about keeping children cool and healthy outside the classroom.
“We’ll be messaging our leaders today in our final messaging about not going out in the heat,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper.
Skipper said there will also be messaging around athletics, reminding athletes to take breaks and stay hydrated.
“We’ll make some decisions about what to keep inside and what’s outside for activities,” Skipper said.
Boston city leaders said COVID-19 funds have helped many schools.
Still, Wu said more needs to be done.
“You can see learning is about a lot more than just the material and the books in front of you,” she said. “It’s your comfort levels, the heat, the temperature, the ability to have access to drinking water that’s reliable, bathrooms that are exactly of the quality and the standards that we deserve.”
“A lot of that work is ongoing now and we’re reminded of the urgency of it every week,” Wu said.
Wu said this week’s temperatures are not an unfamiliar problem, pointing out similar hot weather around Memorial Day earlier this year.
School years are getting longer, Wu said, and hot weather is also lingering longer.
Current forecasts as of Wednesday call for high temperatures dipping back into the 70s by Monday of next week.
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