VISALIA, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – As students return to the classroom, these high temperatures may literally keep them inside the classroom.
Several school districts including Visalia Unified say they are closely monitoring the temperatures and their students. These are not new to the Central Valley, but districts are preparing for that worst-case scenario.
“Being new from out of state, many people were asking me well are you ready for the heat, and I said I was ready, and I still stand by that I am ready and we are ready,” said Visalia Unified School District Superintendent Kirk Shrum.
This is Shrum’s first week as Superintendent. He isn’t letting the heat melt his debut. The triple-digit temperatures are slightly above average for this time of year. Visalia like much of the state is under an excessive heat warning. So far, it hasn’t stopped the district from continuing strong into the back-to-school season.
“If it reaches past a certain trigger point, 106 or above you know that sort of thing, then it can begin in the cancellation of certain outdoor activities,” said Shrum.
However, it will take higher temperatures to completely cancel outdoor activities.
“It could begin with things like just limiting outdoor activities, so recess is a little bit shorter, more water breaks for athletics,” said Shrum.
“They take scheduled breaks it could be on hour, every 30 minutes or 45 minutes and these are the major things, and maybe not doing the training when it is 105 degrees outside,” said Dr. Krishna Siruguppa, a Pediatrician with UCSF Fresno.
Dr. Siruguppa echoes Visalia Unified’s heat protocol plan, adding that teens in sports need to be extra careful.
“They tend to overexert and that’s when the body produces too much heat that they can’t get rid of,” he said.
Exposure to high temperatures can lead to serious illnesses and an immediate need for care. If worse comes to worst, Visalia Unified says they’re prepared for it.
“We do have additional nurses, above normal allotment this year, we’re fortunate to have every site covered by someone with health training,” concluded Shrum.
Friday Night Football for Visalia Unified is scheduled to go on as planned.