Record-setting temperatures like those Wednesday in Minot has the Minot Public School District looking at a possible climate study.
Supt. Mark Vollmer said the study would compare high temperatures in late August and May and early June to help in planning the school calendar. The district will also be looking at whether it's time to install air conditioning in schools that do not have it.
"We need to look at kind of a cost analysis," said Vollmer on Thursday. "How many days do we need air conditioning? That is something we will be discussing."
Minot had a record-setting high temperature of 104 on Wednesday. The previous high was 99, set in 1961.
School start dates have been pushed back to the third week in August, earlier than in some prior years. Vollmer said that is in part due to the Legislature requiring that more days be built into the school calendar. School in North Dakota also has traditionally ended before Memorial Day, which prompts the earlier start dates.
Vollmer said air conditioning was installed at the high schools, in Washington Elementary and in the portable classrooms in use at Erik Ramstad Middle School at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. Newer buildings have it; older schools do not.
The school district has tried to deal with the hot weather by taking other measures such as pushing hot air out of buildings through the school exhaust system during the evening, when there are cooler temperatures; opening doors and windows to let cool air in early in the morning, installing large fans in classrooms and providing staff and students with plenty of drinking water.
"We deal with it," said Vollmer. "We hope we don't have days like that again. We can't install air conditioning tomorrow."
Cindy Mau, principal at Jim Hill Middle School, said the students there handled the hot weather better than the adults.
"The kids have been great," said Jim Hill Middle School principal Cindy Mau. "They haven't said anything. They handled it."
Jim Hill does not have air conditioning, so Mau said staff installed large fans in every classroom and allowed some teachers to hold their classes outside. Teachers had lemon ice water and kids had frozen treats in the afternoon.
"Today is much better," said Mau.
Temperatures were set to reach a high in the 80s on Wednesday. The forecast for next week also calls for temperatures in the 70s and the 80s. Vollmer said the district is prepared to handle those temperatures.