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Should have FLC been on the half-day list for extreme heat?

Michelangelo Infusino
An FLC student experiencing the lack of proper air conditioning in classrooms.

During the first and partially the second week of school staff and students raise their concern for hot temperatures in FLC. The question was raised whether FLC should have been on the half-day list for extreme heat. 

On September 1, 2023 the school district of Philadelphia posted “An Update Regarding Next Week’s Extreme Heat.” 

The Philadelphia school district stated in the update, “The National Weather Service is forecasting extreme heat in the Philadelphia area next week. Therefore, in anticipation, and to ensure safe and healthy school environments for our students and staff, the School District of Philadelphia is making schedule adjustments for schools without air conditioning or schools with inadequate cooling. The schools listed below will have a three hour early dismissal on Tuesday, September 5 and Wednesday, September 6, 2023.”

FLC was not a school that was on the extreme heat half-day list. 

On September 5th, the first day of school, many students complained about the heat.

Student Joshua Jones said, “It was hot in the stairwells and in the lunchroom, like I could not go into the lunchroom and I still can’t. I think there should have been a half day because of the heat.”

The lunchroom in FLC is not air conditioned. 

Student Jamir Stewart said that from his understanding there were no fans or anything to regulate the temperature in the lunchroom. 

On September 6th, the second day of school the temperature was taken of the lunchroom around 11:00 am with a non-contact infrared thermometer. The temperature taken was recorded at 98 degrees fahrenheit.

Stewart said that the heat in school was, “Not very comfortable to be in and almost unbearable to be honest,” “Like, it was really terrible. And it was also really bad because I was only wearing a t- shirt. So it was like, there’s nothing I could really do about that.” 

Under the extreme heat protocols the School District of Philadelphia has stated, “The District’s Extreme Heat Emergency Response Procedures are activated when outside temperatures are forecasted to reach or exceed 85℉ for one or more consecutive days,” “If temperatures in instructional spaces are expected to hit 90℉ or higher, we then determine if a temporary shift to virtual learning or other action is necessary.” 

Certain areas of FLC reached over 85 degrees fahrenheit where students had to stay in for 30 minutes or longer including the lunchroom. 

Not only students voiced their concerns but teachers of FLC have as well. Some teachers including Frank Prohaska have had extreme heat in classes to a point where the second half of the first week and certain days in the second week they had to change classrooms.

“The first week of school, the temperature in the room itself for most of the week was hovering around 90 degrees,” Prohaska said. “So it was unsafe for us to have classrooms” 

Temperature of 90 degrees fahrenheit of room 318 at 7:54 am taken by a non-contact infrared thermometer. (Dahslee Hernandez)

At 7:54 am of September 6th, 2023 before classes started the temperature of Prohaska’s classroom was 90 degrees fahrenheit. Later on in the day once classes started, around 11:00 am Prohaska’s classroom reached temperatures of 95 degrees fahrenheit. 

“FLC is an older building. But we have kind of a mixture of rooms. Some have the window units that worked just fine, some are on the HVAC system,” Prohaska said. “And you know when the HVAC system was working in my room it was perfectly fine but unfortunately at the beginning of the school year the condenser decided it was done.”

For the second week of school some teachers and many students had to be in classrooms, hallways, and the lunchroom due to the extreme heat temperatures in certain areas in FLC. Students and teachers debate on whether or not FLC should’ve had half days due to extreme heat. 

“The district obviously had their list,” Prohska said. “And if we aren’t on the list, then we have to kind of maneuver along.”

Do you think FLC should have been on the list?

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Dahslee Hernandez
Dahslee Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief
My name is Dahslee Hernandez I do mostly News and Sports articles. I have been an editor for theTheFlash since my freshman year. Freshman year: Layout Editor Sophomore year: News & Sports Editor Junior year: Editor-In-Chief I learned how to take pictures with a professional camera in The Flash and now my favorite thing is to go to events and take pictures!  
Michelangelo Infusino, Design Editor
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