Sweltering schools

feeling the heat

Hot button issue

The Heat is On

too darn hot

New York

Families mostly sanguine about heading to schools without heat

A sign on the door of the Spruce Street School today alerted families to cold conditions inside. For dozens of schools, the first day back after Hurricane Sandy is turning out to be a chilly one. The Department of Education estimated that three dozen schools would have electricity but no heat today, and during a news conference on Sunday, Mayor Bloomberg encouraged families to dress their children for the chilly weather. “Some of the buildings may not have heat, some of the school buildings, and they’ve been without heat for a while, so please dress your children with that in mind," he said. "If the schools were dangerously cold we obviously wouldn’t open them, but if they’re chilly, extra sweaters for the kids is something that should make some sense." Almost all of the schools the department warned would be without heat are in Manhattan, where power was restored over the weekend. Sixth-grader Jaeda Barreto donned a pink, fur-lined coat this morning that she planned to wear even after completing her commute from Harlem to the School for Global Leaders on the Lower East Side. Her mother, Stephanie Brooks, said one of Barreto's teachers had called on Sunday to say that the school might be without heat today, so the family made sure to dress extra warmly. (Global Leaders is not on the department's list of schools likely to be without power.) After a week cooped up at home, which Barreto passed by reading "The Hunger Games," even the prospect a chilly school was welcome, Brooks said.