Jericho Needs to Chill
By SOPHIA ZARIFOPOULOS
Although there is excitement at the beginning of the school year, there is also a certain dread that comes along with the intense September heat. Currently, air conditioning is limited to administration offices, the library, the nurse’s office, the cafeteria, the auditorium, and a few computer labs.
Many taxpayers feel that it isn’t worth paying for air conditioning considering the few days that it is actually very hot in school. Jericho Schools Superintendent Mr. Grishman has an answer for why we don’t have air conditioning in classrooms, and it is very simple. Air conditioning is very
expensive. However, what most Jericho residents are not aware of is that over the past few years, Jericho has made some large improvements in terms of adding air conditioning. The auditorium never used to be air conditioned until this year. Up until a few years ago, the cafeteria was not air conditioned either. Mr. Grishman said that by next school year, the Little Theater will also have the luxury of air conditioning. “We have improved each year,” said Mr. Grishman, adding that the main goal has been to air condition the large spaces within the district. For example, Cantiague Elementary School’s auditorium will soon have air conditioning as well. Mr. Grishman hopes that within the next 5 years, especially with apparent rising global temperatures, additional instructional spaces will also have air conditioning.
The heat affects teachers and students alike. Mrs. Bhasin deals with the heat by “opening the windows as much as possible, purchasing fans, and drinking a lot of water.” She also feels that if the classroom is over 88 degrees, air conditioning can help “to prevent migraines, red faces, and dehydration.” Students without a free period often go an entire day without sitting in a cool room at least once. Mrs. Cancemi, another science teacher who deals with the third floor’s extreme heat, said that she works very hard to not let it affect her teaching. At the end of an extremely hot day, she finds herself very fatigued.
Students have difficulty focusing in class when they are sitting in a more than reasonably hot room. Senior Jason M. said, “I think the high temperatures definitely take away from my learning experience. Many times I lose focus or can’t concentrate because of the blistering heat.” Student Dylan Z. says he would “enjoy coming back to school much more if I knew it wouldn’t be hot all the time.”
The nurse’s office also has to deal with the heat, but in a different way. Nurse Reshef says that “there is absolutely a greater amount of children in here when it is hot.” She also said that up to 35 kids a day come into her office to sit in the air conditioning, get ice for their hot and sweaty necks, wash their faces, drink cold water, and just simply lie down due to extreme heat fatigue. One safety hazard that can result from the heat is that if one gets dehydrated, he or she can become dizzy, and,in extreme cases, even faint.
Although this time of the year is difficult for all students and teachers, Jericho’s administration is currently working on a solution to make future Septembers, and now even Octobers, more bearable for both staff and students.
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