WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 22, 2013, 05:15 PM

Local parents concerned about warm weather for school

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - On this first day of school, there is the talk of shiny new shoes, fresh haircuts and the heat.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - On this first day of school, there is the talk of shiny new shoes, fresh haircuts and the heat. Once again, the start of school here in Fargo lands on days the temperatures are climbing again.

While Minnesota kids may still be jumping off their docks at the lake and jet skiing, Fargo students are back in their desks, warming up to the new school year.

In Mrs. Honl's second grade classroom at Lewis and Clark, the veteran teacher tried to ease her kids into the first day of school - lots of questions from the scrubbed up curious kids. But today, Mrs. Honl spoke above the sound of fans, as water bottles dotted the desks. With summer-like temps expected in the coming days, some parents are concerned it is just too hot for the kids in school.

Ryan Schroeder - Lewis and Clark Parent: “It's really tough for kids to focus when they're overly exhausted. We were at back to school night on Tuesday and I was dripping.”

Melanie Paape - Lewis and Clark Parent: “Health and safety, because of the heat, is an issue. Yes, most kids will be okay, but there are some kids who may not. If you're prone to seizures, this is not a good environment to be in.”

Fargo ran into the same thing last year; cherished old schools come with some challenges, like no air conditioning. Fans, lights off and trips to cooler spots around the school help, but some parents say moving the start date until after Labor Day would help, as would retrofitting the schools with A.C.

Stephanie Berg - Roosevelt Parent: “I think maybe we should start school later when it is not so warm out. There is a reason we started after Labor Day years ago.”

Dr. Jeff Schatz - Fargo School Superintendent: “The question is then, why not air conditioning? If we were to do all six schools, HVAC, it would be $10 to $12 million is what we are thinking.”

Some parents told us they have volunteered to buy air conditioning window units for classrooms, but were told that would create problems for the electrical system in the older school buildings.