The National Weather Service is forecasting high temperatures and humidity for the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs today. While we intend to proceed with the school day as scheduled, we will be taking the necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. These precautions will include, but not be limited to:
- Taking frequent water breaks.
- Suspending outdoor activities if necessary.
- Maximizing the use of the air conditioned portions of our facilities.
In addition, we will closely monitor the conditions in our buildings throughout the day and adjust our plans as needed to preserve the physical well-being of our children. Any significant changes will be shared with the community via automated phone message, e-mail, the district’s family of Web sites and the local media. We encourage you to monitor one or more of these communication resources for updates about the weather and its impact on the school schedule and district operations.
We also want to thank those of you who have shared your thoughts/feedback with us about the installation of air conditioning in our school buildings. We certainly understand and appreciate your concerns about the potential impact hot temperatures can have on a student’s health and ability to learn.
We want to let you know that we are continuing to look into the possibility of installing air conditioning in our classrooms. In fact, the Board of Education charged its citizen-led Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) with the task of working with the district administration on this important issue. This work has included looking at the options that are available for adding air conditioning to our buildings, as well as determining cost implications and studying the possible effect this decision will have on our efforts to improve/enhance accessibility in our schools. If you are interested, you can access a summary of one of the more recent discussions FAC had regarding air conditioning by reviewing the information on pages one and two of the minutes from its meeting on April 10, 2013. You can access those minutes by visiting http://www.op97.org/board-of-education/documents/FACminutes041013.pdf.
As has traditionally been the case, FAC did not meet during the summer. It will resume its work in September, and plans on presenting information about air conditioning (options, cost implications, effect on accessibility, etc.) to the board in October. We will provide the community with additional information regarding this presentation (date, time and location) as soon as it is available.
Thank you again for sharing your comments and concerns, and for your continued support of our schools and the students we serve.