Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

SMMUSD Prepares for 100 degree weather, but some Classrooms Lack Air Conditioning

Next summer, windows will be replaced or retrofitted at Rogers, Grant, Roosevelt, Webster and buildings at Malibu High School

Santa Monica reached 100 degrees on Monday, September 26th. It is Indian summer, the time after summer when it becomes hotter in LA than it was in July. The School District issued the following press release:

Dear parents and guardians,

We understand that a comfortable classroom temperature is more conducive to teaching and student learning, and we recognize that we are heading into a predicted warm, fall week. We are taking this opportunity to update you on the short and long term measures SMMUSD is taking to keep our classrooms as cool as possible on our warmest days.

We have recommended that teachers open windows upon arrival in the morning and keep classroom lights off, and minimize exerting activities.

Outdoor activities will be limited during extreme heat and after-school practices and athletic events will be cancelled, if necessary.

Teachers and staff are making sure that students have access to drinking water and encouraged to stay hydrated.

Parents are encouraged to have their students wear cool clothing to school, that is within our dress code policy, and to have students bring water to school.

Additionally, over the past year, we have implemented a number of cooling methods to ensure comfort in classrooms:

More than one thousand fans were distributed throughout the District over the past several years

New roller shades were installed in all of the designated "hot" rooms. Installation began after Spring Break and was completed this summer

Roller shades were installed this summer in all of the rooms at Grant, Rogers and Cabrillo where the Window, Paint and Floor (WPF) projects commenced

Roller shades will be added to all elementary classrooms over the next few years as the WPF projects are completed

Next summer, windows will be replaced or retrofitted at Rogers, Grant, Roosevelt, Webster and buildings at Malibu High School

Window replacement will continue as part of the WPF projects:

new windows are double-paned and glazed to reduce glare and provide better insulation

windows that were sealed shut, painted over or broken are being repaired

Last year, an outside company was hired to survey and study our heating and cooling systems throughout the district and present the results to the District. The Cooling Load and Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Study was completed in August and presented to the Board of Education on September 1st.

The survey work involved reviewing the existing facilities, multiple meetings with District and site staff and preliminary conceptual design work and cost estimating.

The Board directed facilities and bond staff to move forward to create a plan to install air conditioning in all classrooms throughout the district. The estimate to accomplish this installation is approximately $30 million district-wide and will take place over several years. We will update you in the next few months regarding the plan in development right now.

We understand the interests of staff and parents to have cooler rooms and to also have systems that are eco-friendly and energy efficient to help preserve our natural resources, while ensuring an optimal student learning environment. We continue to work to accomplish these goals.

Thank you.

Sincerely, Dr. Chris King and Dr. Sylvia Rousseau

Co-Interim Superintendents

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District


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