Think About It: This is Really Cool... - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

May 9, 2016

Think About It: This is Really Cool...

Last summer I met a very pregnant teacher from Farrington High School by chance who told me about pasting black art paper on classroom windows to keep the sun and some heat out every day. She told me about daily student jostling to get seats in front of her classroom's lone fan, how she provided paper towels for sweating students, and other basic relief measures mandated by the inhumane classroom conditions that we all heard about throughout the record-setting summer of 90+ degree days. 

We got feedback and promoted the efforts of parents and teachers pleading throughout the state as they pressed officials to provide relief from this 40+ year old problem of intolerably hot classrooms that aren't conducive to learning, much less breathing. From Neighbor Islands, Honolulu, and windward and leeward Oahu- the cry was loud, clear, and actually heard. Enough already. You wouldn't force your pet dog to remain in such conditions, yet we allowed this fiasco to repeat annually- for decades, yet magically expected increases in quality learning and test score results. A hot topic, indeed. But enough about the horrible past; we're now moving forward. A solution has been found and is being implemented- right now; signed off on, done deal...

The 2016 legislature found the means to fund classroom cooling with over $100-million earmarked for these long overdue improvements. Now that's cool. Concrete plans include mitigating heat and upgrading electrical networks in over 1,000 public school classrooms by year end. And I mean this year! Construction, following bid awards, should begin in 10-weeks and be completed six-months later- amazing! Energy efficiency going forward will help schools offset the capital costs. So kudos to the state legislature for taking action; we look forward to hearing of cool success stories sure to occur in many classrooms statewide in the near future. Attentive, responsive, awake, engaged students… this plan helps. Think about it.

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