Several classrooms felt warmer than usual, but Metro school officials insist none of the city's 139 public schools experienced a total loss of air-conditioning during yesterday’s first day of school, which also happened to be a particularly hot day in Nashville.
According to Metro Nashville Public Schools spokeswoman Olivia Brown, Thursday marked the 62nd consecutive day in which temperatures reached at least 90 degrees. The high on Friday, according to the National Weather Service, is expected to be 98 degrees.
Though some systems were overworked, Brown said the heat didn’t pose any major issues at Metro schools on Thursday, pointing out that there were no system outages at any elementary, middle or high schools.
“We did have some classrooms here and there that were hot,” Brown said. “But we had fewer than 5 percent of our classrooms that had temperatures above 74 degrees. So we really didn’t have a huge problem.”
For the past two months, Brown said MNPS maintenance crews monitored air-conditioning units at all schools, making repairs if necessary, to ensure they would function properly when students returned to the classroom.
“With these kind of temperatures that we’ve had, the systems pretty much are running 24/7,” Brown said. “They don’t ever cycle off because it’s so hot off. That’s hard on the system to keep running that way, but we were really pleased because we didn’t have any total building issues.
“Now, that doesn’t mean that [Friday] there might not be buildings that could go out,” Brown cautioned. “It’s just like any piece of mechanical equipment. With the heat, something may go out at any given point.”
Like every year, at least one Metro school administrator stopped by each of the district’s schools during to the day to help oversee operations.
Nashville’s heat aside, school administrators did run into the familiar case of students showing up to school when they failed to officially enroll over the summer.
Brown said the situation isn’t unusual. She said principals and administrators worked to enroll those students into their zoned school.