San Jose classroom becomes too hot to handle
Renaissance Academy at Fischer teacher Luvia Solis and her students spend time in a classroom that sometimes reaches 88 degrees. Photo by Lorraine Gabbert.

    Outdated systems and equipment have impacted learning for some San Jose students.

    In some classrooms at Renaissance Academy at Fischer Middle School, temperatures have reached 88 degrees due to faulty air conditioning. In response, teacher Luvia Solis has to take her class outside, along with their desks and chairs.

    “I told my principal I cannot teach,” Solis said. “When it gets super hot I get dizzy. I can’t concentrate and the students can’t concentrate. They’re in a daze and falling asleep.”

    She told Renaissance Academy Principal Doug Kleinhenz about the problem repeatedly and said he asked maintenance to resolve the issue. Maintenance workers come and fix the air conditioning, but a day or two later, it breaks again, Solis said.

    Kleinhenz did not respond to requests for comment.

    Solis tried relocating to an empty classroom, rolling in carts full of laptops and books, but she said it was a “headache.” She wanted to permanently change classrooms, but was told the school didn’t have the workers to move all the furniture.

    “I can deal with a lot but… what kind of working environment am I in?” she said. “Am I valued as an employee? I feel like I’m not because it’s a 90-degree environment.”

    Hilaria Bauer, superintendent for Alum Rock Union School District, told San José Spotlight the school district has aging air conditioning systems that malfunction sporadically and aren’t designed to work with windows and doors open.

    “We have old systems, a delay in parts and services and the residue of the pandemic,” she said. “We are trying our best to create the best learning environments, but unfortunately, sometimes we do face challenges.”

    Contact Lorraine Gabbert at [email protected]


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