Keeping it cool

Oscillating fans are kicked on high as students and teachers try to keep cool early in the new school year.
Krystle Wagner
Sep 10, 2013

As the afternoon sun heats up classrooms, Holmes Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Mary Vandenbosch said the higher temperatures are more than just unpleasant — they make it difficult to concentrate on learning.

Vandenbosch said they see many red-faced students and everyone feels a little sluggish, so she has two fans running in the windows every day to try circulating and creating cool air.

"We are looking forward to cooler fall days ahead,” she said.

While fans blowing warm air around can help for a little while, Vandenbosch said she’s brought frozen treats for her class to enjoy and try cooling down body temperatures.

Holmes Principal Sandra Smits said students look “melted” by late-afternoon, but staff work to lessen the heat’s impact by giving students more breaks, turning lights off, opening windows and more. She said some teachers bring popsicles or other cold treats to share with their students.

“It’s quite challenging, but this staff knows what they’re doing,” Smits said.

Holmes Elementary School first-grade teacher Mary Goodin said she provides her students with water bottles to make sure they are hydrated throughout the day.

“I think everyone here adapts things a bit so we can get things done," she said. "It's just at a quieter pace of doing it."

After a few long and hot days, Goodin said students often ask why she can’t turn on the air conditioners. The teacher said she chuckles and explains that the school doesn’t have air conditioning.

Spring Lake Public Schools Superintendent Dennis Furton said there’s little staff can do on hot days except use fans in an effort to move the air around.

“It’s better than nothing, but on hot days you really have to sympathize with our students and staff,” he said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



Maybe they will splurge and install AC in the new school they want to build when they tear down Holmes. Then they can have school all summer long like the Trib thinks they should.

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