I just dropped off a fan and spray bottle for my daughter in her classroom at Sunnyside Elementary. The seven portable units have heat in winter, but no water, no washrooms, and no A/C in spring/summer. Parents and teachers often supply basic shelving and storage space for educational materials. There will probably be two more portables at Sunnyside next year. My children still love going to school, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication by the many teachers and staff at Sunnyside.
I sent a thermometer to school today so I could have a number for how hot it gets in there. The sun beats down on the metal roofs and the fans brought by teachers and students hardly move air around at all. There’s no shade to cool the units, so when the sun hits, they heat up quickly. For students who struggle with hydration, it’s dangerous for them to be in school for the afternoon.
At least one teacher is trying to find $400 for a portable cooling unit for the classroom. They’ll probably end up bringing the cooling unit from their house to use at school during the week.
This new school building opened in 2014, built for 400 students, now with over 600 students, with more projected to come next year. The gravel field is the main play space, and it would be great if it were replaced with grass. Bandaids are a hot commodity.
I like the teachers and staff here, and my children have done well at Sunnyside. The band program found shared space with French classes in one of the portables, which at least allowed the award-winning jazz and concert bands to continue. The band program includes many students from other schools in the area, so it’s crucial for them to have space to practice in, and this one portable is the only space available. There is a very active PAC at Sunnyside, and many parents work hard to help the school run smoothly, with great learning activities for the children. Despite the less-than-ideal physical environment, in the end, it’s the people that make a school, and Sunnyside has a wonderful team of educators, staff, and parents all working together to support the students.
Now if we can just get some air conditioning.