Extreme heat is a growing problem for California’s schools. Classroom and schoolyard temperatures can reach unhealthy levels and prevent students from learning, playing and thriving on hot days — especially in certain school districts, as illustrated in a heat mapping tool created by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation (LCI) and the Public Health Alliance of Southern California. To present a simple starting point for policymakers and the public to understand the problem and potential solutions, researchers at LCI put together a resource kit that includes accessible fact sheets and infographics. In addition, the kit highlights five recommended actions for the state:
- Collect data to track how schools experience extreme heat and the status of cooling interventions to understand needs.
- Establish a statewide indoor temperature limit for schools based on children’s risk and effects on learning.
- Mitigate heat exposure in schoolyards through evidence-based engineered and nature-based solutions.
- Manage heat exposure in schools through informed behavioral interventions.
- Identify funding gaps and inconsistencies that should be addressed for effective, targeted heat mitigation.