Anger over Encinitas school's hot classrooms

ENCINITAS, Calif. - Some angry parents say the extreme heat at an Encinitas school is affecting their children's ability to learn.

Even though windows are open at Paul Ecke Central Elementary School, some parents and a teacher told 10News it's still extremely hot inside classrooms and they are frustrated with the school district's initial response to the issue.

"Of the nine schools, we're the only one without A/C in13 of our classrooms," said parent Elizabeth Shany.

Shany has three children who attend school in Encinitas. She said over the last year, they have complained of heat exhaustion.

"They're coming home hot and sweaty, and red and really tired and complaining about the heat. You know, it's just they're sleepy and how hard it is to be in their classroom when it's so hot," said Shany.

Her children attend Paul Ecke Central, which was built in the 1920s. On Tuesday afternoon, Shany shot video showing the thermostat at 83 degrees and the windows closed.

Several parents and some teachers told 10News they sent numerous letters to the Encinitas Union School District suggesting affordable air-conditioning units.

Shany said the district sent fans.

"They had been notified in May … and nothing has been done over the summer. And other schools got remodeled, got solar, got new furniture and we don't have A/C in 13 classrooms. Parents were beginning to get really frustrated," said Shany.

Encinitas Union School District Superintendent Tim Baird told 10News he is aware of the problem and is doing something about it.

"We're putting in some portable A/C units; based upon our principal working with our facility director, so we have those on order. I think there will be some in tomorrow and some in after that," said Baird.

In a letter sent to parents early Tuesday evening, Paul Ecke Central Principal Adriana Chavarin confirmed that seven portable air-conditioning units will arrive at the school Wednesday and "the rest are on order and will be delivered soon."

The district said there are also plans to upgrade the school and install air conditioning. That should be complete by the start of next school year.

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