First days of school met with sweltering temperatures in Antioch

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- Kids going back to school this week in the East Bay are dealing with sweltering temperatures reaching into the triple digits.

Athletes at Antioch High School are pretty lucky. They've got a new stadium, a new weight room and, most importantly, a new field with water stations at both ends.

Staying cool and hydrated is important for these teens and for kids of all ages.

On the playground at Marsh Elementary, nothing is more popular than a big, shady tree.

When asked if the tree made any new friends today, Principal Crystal Berry said, "It did. It made some new friends and it had some old friends who tend to go there frequently."

But even under that tree, it was a stifling 96 degrees in Antioch Monday, so all the "cool" kids are getting sprayed with water.

"We tend to bring those out on hot days just so the kids don't get overheated," Berry said.

There are record lines at the water fountain and the heat is proving to be a teachable moment.

"The message we try to get to kids is we want them to play safely on these hot days. We do teach them about heat stroke and the need to play carefully," Berry said.

And sometimes, the message is to play indoors.

PE classes normally spend time on the playground but not in this heat. For now, it's all about air conditioning.

The funny thing about air conditioning is it tends to fail right when you need it. The district has a backup plan for that, too.

"These you simply just plug into the wall," grounds manager Jeff Collins said, plugging in a portable air conditioning unit.

"You're drawing outside air that may be 100 degrees or 120 degrees up on the roof because most of our systems are mounted on the roof," Collins said.

There's a whole fleet of these portable units just in case. "I've had classrooms send my HVAC techs thank you notes," Collins said.

They may even get one from the principal. "I'm looking forward to going into the A/C as soon as we're done with this interview," Berry said.

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