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TDSB takes steps to help students beat the heat

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 26th, 2017

Students are seen in a classroom in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS

Summer vacation is over and kids are back in school, but summer weather only just arrived in Toronto last week.

With unseasonably warm temperatures some classrooms across the city are sweating it out.

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) governs 584 schools out of which only 125 are fully air conditioned. Others are partially air conditioned and some have no air conditioning at all.

In an email, Ryan Bird, TDSB media relations, says it’s simply not financially possible to install full air conditioning in all schools.

“The cost to install complete building air conditioning at all schools that don’t currently have it would reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars – not to mention the added maintenance, replacement and operational costs associated with the installation of A/C in all schools,” he said.

However, he stressed that school staff make every effort to ensure students are comfortable.

“During warmer temperatures, our staff do their very best to keep students cool,” Bird said.

Some of the steps taken to help students beat the heat include:

  • Closing blinds and using fans
  • Relocating to cooler areas where possible
  • Reducing strenuous activity like some gym activities
  • Cancelling all practices for school sports teams temporarily across TDSB schools till temperatures cool down.
  • Students with heat related medical concerns are encouraged to speak to staff for further accommodation.

In addition, Bird said the TDSB is in the process of creating cooling stations in schools that are not equipped with A/C.

This involves cooling large ares such as gyms or libraries so that students have access to cooler areas when temperatures soar. The process is expected to take five to seven years to complete

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