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Coastal Bend schools modify physical activities for students | #schoolsaftey

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — School is back in session for many districts in the Coastal Bend, but the physical activity that is typically built into the school day for students may look different due to the heat. 

W.C. Andrews Elementary School Principal Analese Tennyson said the safety of her students is paramount when dealing with the intense heat. 

“If it is between a 100 and 105, then there’s limited activities outside. We hold that very, very dear to our heart because the safety of our students is very important to us,” she said.

Tennyson said she and her staff have created alternatives for the students to get their physical activity while still keeping them safe.

“Indoor recess can either be in the classroom. We provide games. Or it can be in the cafeteria which is great big space to run around. They can also come to the library if they like,” she said.

Gregory-Portland Independent School District’s Executive Director of Safety & Student Services Michael Thieme said the district uses a heat stress tracker to determine what type of physical activity would be safe for students. 

“At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. we take updated readings and we compare them with the local weather service along with the Ingleside airport. We make a decision on what the precaution levels are for the day. We send those out to all the campuses,” he said.

Driscoll Middle School Principal Christopher Hall and his staff have made adjustments to their fall sports practices.

“What we’re doing now to accommodate students, especially with our athletics, with our football right now, we’re having morning practices. So you know, going our before it gets too warm,” he said.

Driscoll’s cross country team is also having morning practices and physical education classes are currently being held inside the school’s gym.

“Again, we’re doing everything to make sure that we’re in compliance and to maintain safety with all of our students,” he said.

Both Tennyson and Hall said that while temperatures are extremely high now, they are looking forward to when they can regularly send their students outside for recess and physical education classes.  

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