San Diego Unified School District students head back to school amid heat wave

Posted at 7:03 AM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 21:19:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Unified School District students and teachers are bracing themselves for scorching heat Monday as they head back to class for the first day of school.

On Monday morning, more than 111,000 elementary, middle and high school students started classes in San Diego.

10News Meteorologist Megan Parry's forecast calls for above-average temperatures for the next three days, making for uncomfortable -- yet dangerous -- conditions.

District officials are reassuring parents that schools are doing what they can to make the first week as comfortable as possible. They sent a letter to parents last week letting them know about the extreme weather and promising to implement schools' hot weather plan if needed.

RELATED: San Diego Unified Parent Portal

While the district does not close schools due to hot weather, principals at some schools may call for minimum days this week. A San Diego Unified School District Spokeswoman told 10News that schools facing these situations will be on a minimum day Tuesday.

When schools cannot provide air-conditioned learning spaces for children when the forecasted temperature is 95 degrees or higher, with a heat index of 103 degrees or higher, a decision on minimum day scheduling would be made by noon the day before.

On hot weather days, elementary schools can rearrange the daily schedule and limit recess activities to quiet games. Teachers can also move students to rooms that are better ventilated or to shady lawn areas, and they can merge classes into air-conditioned buildings.

Some athletic activities and practices may be canceled or rescheduled.

RELATED: Back to School resources

District officials are asking parents to have their children dress in light, loose-fitting clothing, and encourage them to drink water throughout the day.

What's new this school year?

District officials outlined several things that are new this semester, including turning Sequoia Elementary School into a visual and performing arts magnet school, establishing a STEAM cluster in Linda Vista that incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematics into instruction in a more meaningful way, and a partnership with the Anti-Defamation League to increase tolerance at each campus.

Each school will have a wellness plan, created with parent involvement, that meets the fitness and nutrition needs of children.