Grayslake Elementary District 46 is preparing to deal with extraordinary hot weather at two schools without air conditioning.
District 46's Meadowview and Woodview elementary schools in Grayslake don't have air conditioning. Both schools serve students in kindergarten through fourth grade.
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Superintendent Ellen Correll said officials received correspondence from Meadowview and Woodview employees regarding the potential heat problems. She said similar to how windchill factors are monitored in the winter, the district will keep tabs on a heat index chart when classes begin for all grades except kindergarten on Aug. 22.
"On this chart, it gives the temperature and humidity," Correll told school board members at a recent meeting. "The humidity piece is what increases the danger level."
Green, yellow and red color codes on the chart will serve as a guide on whether class should be in session at Woodview and Meadowview, Correll, said. Green means a day is comfortable for outdoor play, yellow means caution and red signals danger.
"So, on some days you can have 98-degree temperatures and we're still in the caution," Correll said. "On other days, if there were high humidity, that would put us into the danger."
Teachers will be allowed to bring in small refrigerators to cool their rooms but can't have them plugged in past Oct. 1 because of concerns about electricity costs, Correll said. She said teachers can continue rotating classes into cooling areas.
Officials indicated support for calling off school rather than having children sent home early in unbearably hot conditions.
In February, the school board voted to add air conditioning to the middle school in time for the 2012-13 academic year for less than $1 million. There were not enough board votes to approve air conditioning at Woodview and Meadowview.
Proponents of installing air conditioning at the middle school noted its enrollment of more than 800 students is largest of the district's buildings. Four other District 46 schools have air conditioning.