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Here's how Portland Public Schools plans to handle the heat in buildings with no AC

Most Portland Public Schools buildings are several decades old, and they don't have central air conditioning.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Thousands of Portland Public Schools students headed back to school on Tuesday, a day when temperatures hit 100 degrees, and more hot weather is on the way this week.

Most of the district's buildings are several decades old, and they don't have central air conditioning. That has some parents wondering, how does the district plan on handling the heat?

In an email to parents, PPS said the plan is to run every school's ventilation system between midnight and 6 a.m., when the weather is cooler, to circulate as much cold air as possible. 

In the morning, custodial staff will open all "operable" windows where and when it's safe, and all HVAC and other portable cooling units will be running to continue to circulate cool air. 

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"We recognize the majority of our buildings are over 80 years old and do not have central air conditioning," the district wrote. "We ask for your patience and understanding as our community continues to cope with the impacts of climate change and this week's predicted heat."

PPS said there will be plenty of access to water, and water coolers will be brought to schools if deemed necessary. 

The district said it's keeping a close eye on the forecast to potentially modify any school activities to limit the impacts of the heat. 

For the latest weather forecast for the Portland metro area and Willamette Valley, click here

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