Several Omaha high schools without fully functioning A/C, classes on as scheduled

The latest from our Live a6 News has received reports of at least two high schools in the Omaha metro where the air conditioner is not fully functioning.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 8:39 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Several high schools in Omaha are without fully functioning air conditioning.

As temperatures soared into the triple digits across the metro Tuesday, 6 News began receiving reports that multiple high schools were without A/C in some classrooms.

Omaha Public Schools confirmed that one of the cooling systems at both Burke High and North High is down and that repairs could take days.

“This extreme heat, with temperatures reaching 100+ degrees, does impact schools and buildings throughout the metro and our community,” an OPS spokesperson told 6 News.

The air temperature in Omaha climbed to 100 in some areas of the city Tuesday, with the heat index hovering around 110-115 during the warmest parts of the day.

The grueling heat is expected to persist through Wednesday and Thursday, but despite having no air conditioning, classes will continue as normal at Burke and North.

6 News obtained a letter that was sent to all those who attend or work at Burke High:

“Dear Burke High Staff, Students, and Families,

One of the cooling systems inside Burke High has stopped working. Our team is already working on repairs, which could take several days.

Other cooling systems at Burke High are working, so classes will proceed on schedule today. We apologize for any inconvenience, as the building will be warmer than normal. Water fountains are open and available. Our district is also sending bottled water and available fans to the school.

The safety and well-being of students and staff is always our top priority. If conditions change and require us to adjust, we will communicate directly with you.

Thank you for your understanding and support.”

Charles Wakefield, Chief Operations and Talent Officer, Omaha Public Schools

The same letter was sent to North High students and families.

6 News also obtained information about a similar situation at Millard North High School in Omaha.

A concerned parent passed along an email that was sent to all faculty, students, and their families. The following is a portion of that message.

“As those of you with students in middle and high school outdoor sports and activities are aware, practices and contests have been curtailed to the early morning, moved indoors, or scheduled to the later evening hours. Elementary schools have also taken steps to limit time outdoors.

Overall, our air conditioning systems are keeping up, but we have experienced pockets of elevated heat and humidity in parts of some of our buildings. Our maintenance crews have already fixed many of these systems. We are working as fast as we can to address the remaining units that are not working to capacity.

John Schwartz, Superintendent, Millard Public Schools

Even after the sun went down Tuesday, the feels-like temperature in the Omaha metro remained north of 100 degrees. At 9 p.m., it was 104.


This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News for updates.