How schools without air conditioning decide if it’s too hot for students

CLEVELAND - "I have a son who is in 10th grade at Midview and he's constantly coming home saying, 'Mom, I have a headaches,'" said Jennifer Frame, of Grafton.

But little did Frame know, her son was showing signs of heat exhaustion.

"He tells me, it's just so hot at school; there's no movement of air," said Frame.

That's because Midview High School in Grafton does not have air conditioning.

"These poor kids are sweating; the teachers are sweating. I don't know if they are even learning anything; they can't concentrate," said Frame.

In the Shaker Heights School District, none of the eight buildings have air conditioning either.

"We were monitoring the temperatures in all eight of our school buildings today, just to make sure that things were viable in terms of teaching and learning to take place," said Scott Stephens, with the Shaker Heights School District.

The district says fans and water will be provided for students and staff.

They also suggest wearing cool clothing that is light-weight, light-colored and loose-fitting.

"Our first priority is the safety for the students. But we felt having school was a viable situation and we could get through this week and cooler temperatures are forecast for next week," said Stephens.

None of the buildings in the Bedford City School District have air conditioning either.

Despite temperatures in the 90s reported in the classrooms, the district is open.

But the district says they are providing extra fans and keeping activity levels as low as possible.

"In addition, if parents or guardians feel that the weather conditions are hazardous to their children's well-being, they have the option to keep them home from school. If the parent exercises this right and informs the school, the absence is excused," said Andrea Celico, Ph.D, Superintendent of the Bedford City Schools, in a statement Wednesday.

"Certainly temperatures in the 90s for a prolonged period of time, like an entire school day, can put kids at stress and risk for heat related illness," said Dr. Jerri Rose, a pediatrician emergency room physician at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Dr. Rose urges people to recognize the signs if they are stuck in a hot classroom.

"Kids can feel nauseous, headaches, vomiting, even they can be confused, even difficulty thinking," said Dr. Rose.