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Parents, teachers concerned about heat in Surrey portable classrooms

Last Updated Jun 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm PDT

A portable classroom is seen here in a stock image. (iStock Photo)
Summary

The Surrey School District says it has not received any complaints about the heat in portables so far

Westphal tweeted on Tuesday that it was over 30 degrees in the city's 340 portable classrooms

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s hot out there, but it’s even worse inside portable classrooms around Metro Vancouver.

Some parents and teachers are highlighting their concerns about students trying to learn inside sweltering portables during this warm spell.

Surrey Teachers Association President Matt Westphal tweeted on Tuesday that it was over 30 degrees in the city’s 340 portables, saying: “It’s hard to learn when it is that hot!”

Education advocate Cindy Dalglish, whose daughter was in a portable last year, feels the district should dip into its reserve fund to equip portables with air conditioning units.

“The concern is that it’s not a conducive learning environment and as someone who also supports teachers to do the hard work that they do, it’s also not a good employment environment.”

RELATED: Near-record highs expected as heat sets in over Lower Mainland

Dalglish says she had to pull her daughter from school multiple times last year because of the heat in class.

“The teachers are bringing their fans in but that’s just circulating air, it’s not cooling it,” she says. “It’s just grossly unfair that some of our kids get to be in an air-conditioned building and some of them have to be stuck in these sweltering hot boxes.”

The Surrey School District says it has not received any complaints about the heat in portables so far. It also notes there are half a dozen schools currently being built, with an additional six in the pre-construction phase.

The Ministry of Education says there are 9,450 new student seats coming to Surrey, 7,000 of which will be ready by September 2021.