Minnesota classes resume Tuesday in sweltering heat

School returns with high temps

School returns with high temps

Many Minnesota school districts return to class on Tuesday, and some could be challenged by the heat. 

The St. Paul Public School District says 57 percent of their schools do not have air conditioning. Five years ago, that number was closer to 70 percent. 

A spokesperson with the district said in a statement, “Facilities staff are ensuring buildings are cooled overnight and fans are deployed as needed to keep our buildings as comfortable as possible on Tuesday.” The spokesperson added that it’s difficult to make a decision more than a day in advance because the forecast can fluctuate on an hourly basis. 

Anoka-Hennepin School District told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the district will introduce cooler, fresh morning air into the schools where air conditioning is not available. 

“The district does have a HVAC plan to upgrade all school sites however it is a three-year cycle to make these upgrades and there are schools involved in the various stages of these projects. This mainly involves elementary schools built during the 1960s,” said an Anoka-Hennepin School District spokesperson. 

In the meantime, parents say preparation is key; however, they say it’s also up to the children to learn how to keep cool. 

“If it’s warmer days, make sure that you’re staying in the shade putting sunscreen in the morning because they’re going to be going outside,” said Nicci Carpentier, a parent. “But a lot of it is kind of contingent upon them having the insight to do that too.”

Students heading back to school tell us they’re as prepared as can be for the sweltering heat. 

“Wear hats and just drink a lot of water, keep hydrated,” said 8-year-old Cohen Kizziah. “I know I probably won’t be wearing black because that attracts the sun, so you’ll get warmer.”

St. Paul Public Schools held a meeting over the weekend and have decided to not cancel school on Tuesday. Families received an email Monday afternoon with reminders about clothing and water bottles. 

Minneapolis Public Schools also told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that they will be open on Tuesday as well.