NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS)
With school starting under scorching temperatures, two schools in Natchitoches Parish had to delay their first day of class due to air conditioning problems.
School officials said it’s for safety and kids shouldn’t have to start their first day back in a hot classroom. But teachers are persevering it get their rooms ready.
Principal Natalie Ducote greeted parents and children as they walked through the front door of L.P. Vaughn Pre-K and K Learning Center.
“Are ya’ll here for open house guys? It was rescheduled for next Tuesday,” Ducote said.
The school’s plans are rescheduled because of the heat. The two new air conditioning units are being worked on at L.P. Vaughn so classes were delayed until Monday.
“We just wanted to make sure our students are starting in a safe, cool environment,” Ducote said.
The steamy indoors not stopping the teachers though. As they work around fans to get their rooms ready, even fanning themselves.
“It’s been a lot of jokes for us all day long… it’s on, it’s off… it’s on, it’s off,” said Pat Alexander, kindergarten teacher.
“Yeah it’s hot, but you know,” said Julia Hall.
As Mrs. Alexander puts her Welcome Sign made by her former students, “every year I put it up to welcome my kindergartners” she said. She explains how she got creative to prepare her classroom while the AC is repaired. “So I would vent it outside then tape up the door and then just try to get it to 85 degrees in my room. It never got below 85,” Alexander said.
Teachers, staff and even custodians all accepting the sweat to welcome 425 children to fill their side of the campus alone.
“They’re just wonderful teachers and that was brought to my attention ever more when they come up here and work in rooms that are very warm, very hot in the middle of summer to get their students learning environment ready,” Ducote said.
The Natchitoches Parish Superintendent Dale Skinner said L.P. Vaughn and Natchitoches Magnet School should be open Monday, but if the air conditioners are not fixed before then they will delayed again.