The temperature reached a high of 99 degrees on Tuesday, September 16. The temperatures rest of the week also peaked in the nineties, excluding September 18, which finally cooled to 81 degrees. Many students and teachers are now beginning to insist that air conditioning is now a necessity. It has been estimated by the OC Register that it would cost over $60 million to install air conditioning in Newport Mesa’s remaining school buildings, sparking debate over whether the investment is worthwhile.
No OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) law specifies the maximum temperature classrooms may be, but one law does state temperatures must be "within acceptable range".
Another teacher claims that this heat wave has had no effect on the learning environment at all. The only difference is the amount of complaints, as she claims "the kids who complain about the heat also complain that is it too cold in other rooms!” She explains there is no difference in behavior between the cooler earlier periods and the more heat-stricken later periods. In this teacher's opinion, the level of comfort in the students is not nearly as important as the level of comfort of the teacher in regards how well students learn. "I do my best work when I am comfortable. If I'm not comfortable, my teaching suffers and so will the students' learning," she states.
Other teachers take the middle ground. They concede that yes, the heat has impacted students; however, it is not severe. They argue heat wave can not be used as a scapegoat for students that are struggling. When asked whether air conditioning installation is worth the cost, one teacher replied that the money "could be better spent on other things." For many, air conditioning is a luxury, not a requirement, so while installation would be highly appreciated, it is not seen as top priority.
Regardless of whether or not there is a correlation between the heat and students' learning, the thing most agree on is that the recent heat was indeed uncomfortable and that they are looking forward to the cool breezes of sweater weather.