Serra Mesa school deals with heat without air conditioning

Measures taken to prevent heat-related illnesses

SAN DIEGO - It was an uncomfortable and hot Thursday for many at a Serra Mesa school not equipped with air conditioning.

"In my classroom today, I had a thermometer … it said 80 degrees at 8 o'clock; before 11 o'clock it was 90 degrees. So imagine what it was right after lunch … we're right next to the blacktop," said John Paul Jones Elementary School first-grade teacher Marisa Chavez.

It was so hot that teachers did all they could to keep students cool and calm.

"I have my windows open, I turned down the lights," Aaron Solomon, a second grade teacher, explained to 10News. "I have both fans on; you just slow things down."

Seven-year-old student Hailey said she kept cool near a fan.

"I put a lot of air on me," the second grader emphasized. "Cold air."

"I told them heat is very important. You bring a canteen. If you empty it while you're drinking it, fill it up and I want three or four a day," said parent Thomas Kerr.

Administrators at the school couldn't agree more with the need to stay hydrated.

"It's all about making sure the children are comfortable and that the teachers are comfortable," added Jones Elementary School Principal Rita Powell.

Powell had the students skip physical education on Thursday to help keep them cool.

"And for lunch recess, we showed movies inside the auditorium, so the children wouldn't over exert themselves," said Powell.

Several second- and fourth-grade students told 10News it was the best lunch ever.

"We went inside the auditorium and watched a movie, then after the auditorium we just went back to class," one boy said.

The slow pace and lack of exertion, Powell said, kept students out of the nurse's office.

"We haven't had a lot of visits to the nurse's office. We must be doing something right," Powell added.

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