The following is the text of a memorandum to the Board of Education from the superintendent of schools, Dr. Paul L. Vance, regarding the operation of schools today [Tuesday, June 8, 1999].
"Rising air temperatures this week, in addition to the continuing drought, are creating difficult conditions in several of our schools, especially those with only partial air conditioning or no air conditioning at all. All of these facilities have fans, but the record temperatures this week are severely testing these resources. Nonetheless, these schools are remaining open, with staff taking special precautions involving both indoor and outdoor activities. The Office of School Administration, the Office of Supportive Services, and the Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Schools are closely monitoring the conditions of the schools without full air conditioning.
"The capital budget initiative to accelerate the installation of air conditioning to the remaining school facilities will not be implemented until this summer and will ease the situation for most buildings should warmer temperatures affect the opening of school in September. Nearly all school buildings will be air conditioned by this time next year.
"In the meantime, principals have been reminded to take the necessary steps to ensure that students are not outside during the high heat of day and to ensure that frequent access to water is made available to students and staff. In addition, afternoon activities that require excessive exercise have been moved to the morning or rescheduled to later in the week when the weather is expected to improve. The discomfort experienced by students and staff poses a challenge for principals and teachers and their students as we complete local criterion-referenced tests, begin final exams in middle and high schools, and draw an end to the school year. Central office staff will continue to work with individual schools to address local conditions."