The first day of school for Oklahoma City Public Schools was again a sweltering, sauna of a day.
The high reached at least 110 degrees just as students began their journey home.
But officials with the state's largest school district said they were ready for the heat.
“This is like deja vu from last year,” said Tierney Tinnin, spokeswoman for the district. “We implemented a lot of the same policies we did last year.”
Last year as the school district implemented its new calendar with an early August start date, the temperatures reached 107 degrees on the first day of school.
Emergency kits with ice and water were placed on school buses.
Of the district's 2,500 classrooms, 27 had issues with air conditioning, but there weren't any buildings that were entirely without AC, Tinnin said.
“It may be that you move them to the library, or if this is a building that has some other classroom space, they can move them to the unused space,” Tinnin said.
Principals monitored the heat and playground equipment to make decisions on recess.
At Buchanan Elementary School, 4126 NW 18, students played board games or watched movies rather than going outside in the sweltering heat.
Principal Scott Kaufman, who has been at Buchanan for 14 years, said his school has no buses. Students either walk or ride with their parents.
“Because it's a neighborhood school, the neighbors watch out for the kids,” Kaufman said. “The core group of neighbors have been here for years and years.”
Kaufman said not only are they blessed with active residents, but this year the Portland Avenue Baptist and Heritage Baptist churches provided a box of essential school supplies for each of the 506 students enrolled at Buchanan on the first day of school.
Kaufman said the students were brimming with excitement for their new teachers, new supplies and the new year, so much so that he had to remind them to go get breakfast in the cafeteria first.
Additionally, Kaufman said they expect American Fidelity Assurance to provide 60 or more tutors for their students who need extra help starting in September.
This is the second school year that Oklahoma City Public Schools will use an adjusted calendar to try and shorten the summer break and reduce the amount of knowledge students lose.
The calendar also allows for longer intercession breaks in the fall, winter and spring. During the breaks, students in need of remediation spend part of the vacation in school getting one-on-one help.
“I saw a big change in the children and in the teachers who worked with the children,” Kaufman said. “With smaller class sizes they were able to focus on a specific child more.”
This year the dates for intercession are: Oct. 15-26 for fall break; Dec. 17-Jan. 3 for winter break; and March 11-22 for spring break.