'It's absolutely brutal': Denver students face sweltering classrooms as they return to school

Teachers and parents say classrooms are too hot
Posted at 9:01 PM, Aug 18, 2019

DENVER — This week, thousands of students will be heading back to school within Denver Public Schools.

Entering her sixth year teaching at Slavens School, Lisa Yema said she's excited to welcome back the students.

With classes starting in mid-August, Yema said her students' learning environment is being tested with the hot temperatures inside of her classroom.

"It's absolutely brutal," Yema said. "I'm already thinking about what can I wear so I can sweat and not look disgusting."

Her classroom is fitted with a window box air conditioning unit, but even with it running all day, she says temperatures will stay hot. She's worried about her students retaining what they're taught.

"How can we create a safe learning environment for our students so that we're not all sweating and we can actually focus?" she asked.

Yema isn't alone.

Amy Duclos's daughter, Elise, is getting ready to go back to school at Merrill Middle School.

Elise said her school doesn't even have air conditioning units like they do at Slavens.

"It's just awful," Elise said. "I can't concentrate. We're constantly sweating."

Yema said this has been an issue for several years but believes now is the right time to implement change.

"This is a call to the district," Yema said. "This is a call to our school board. This is a call to our parents. This is a call to our community that we need to get to work."