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Hot first day of school goes smoothly for Oklahoma City School District

In the second year that the state's largest district is using a calendar with an early Aug. 1 start date, Oklahoma City has faced incredible heat.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Modified: August 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm •  Published: August 1, 2012
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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.”

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