Concord school scrambles to stay cool

July 9, 2008 11:29:38 AM PDT
At Highlands Elementary School in Concord Wednesday's lesson plan includes creative ways to stay cool.

"For our camp program we also have wading pools and water toys in water and otter pops and those kinds of things," said Mary-Ann Tucker, Highlands Elementary School principal.

The summer session is in full swing and the majority of the school does not have air conditioning. The new buildings with air conditioning are being shared.

"When the kids get really tired or extra hot, they rotate into the computer room or one of the classrooms where they can cool down," said Tucker.

John Barton was tempted to keep his daughter home on Wednesday, then realized that wasn't an option.

"Because my wife would kill me if I didn't bring her - she has autism and needs to go school," said Barton.

Julie Ebding said this is her son's second year in summer school and he is handling this quite well. "We sent him with a big thing of ice-water and he seems to be doing pretty well with it. He is tired when he comes home, which is kind of nice," said Ebding.

For the next few days the fans will be on high and the pools will be full. Most of the school's in Concord do not have air conditioning, and with budget cuts it is very difficult to get them in place, but they are part of the long term plan.

Cooling centers open around the Bay Area: click here

Heat resources: How to beat the heat

The Almaden Community Center is just one of 13 cooling centers in San Jose and a full list may be viewed at http://www.sccgov.org.

Cooling centers are available in cities throughout the region. A list of cooling centers statewide opened by local authorities and tips to prevent heat illness are available at http://www.oes.ca.gov.