School temperature spark heated conversation


Julia Duran, Assistant Features Editor

You walk into your math class on Monday morning and realize you didn’t even have to take off the jacket that you were just wearing outside in 40 degree weather, because the room temperature feels exactly the same. Although it’s cold outside, temperatures oscillate throughout the building, with classrooms ranging from 65 to 80 degrees. Many students and teachers have complained about the drastic differences. Some have even developed their own strategies for dealing with the constantly changing temperatures.

“The temperature in the school fluctuates everywhere you go,” senior Nicholas Minock said. “It is very hot in the gym, cold in the hall, warm in [some] rooms [and] cold in [other] rooms. It is not just one specific temperature in [one] place; it is cold and hot everywhere.”

According to BBC, the ideal room temperature, around 75 degrees, influences not only productivity, but also thinking itself. Therefore, teachers and students must work together to create a comfortable learning environment even when the heating or air conditioning systems do not seem to be functioning well. For example, depending on the classroom climate, teachers can turn on fans or encourage their students to bring sweatshirts to class.

“Sometimes, the teacher [assures the class] the heater is on, but it doesn’t feel like it is, and I can’t work in cold temperatures,” junior Blen Yohannes said. “When you are cold, you can’t pay attention [to the class] because you are [focusing] on keeping your body warm.”

Many teachers, however, prefer to keep classrooms cool as a strategy to increase alertness and eliminate the fatigue that can occur in a warm and cozy environment.

When people come to school dressing for the weather outside, it can be irritating to have to take off or put on additional layers because of the varying temperatures around the building.

“In this transition between hot and cold, you have to put [on] and take off your coats,” Yohannes said. “It is really inconvenient for all of us.”

Although the varying temperatures are not ideal, the large size of the building and its age, 44 years old, must be considered. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep temperatures steady in these conditions.

“It is an older and big building with a lot of working parts, so I am a little more understanding when the whole system is not working properly,” physics teacher Corey Porter said. “I just wish I had my own climate control, but I can understand how it would be difficult [to have one] for every single room in the building.”

According to the administration, FCPS is trying to solve the problem, and work will be done on the building this summer.

“It is often too hard to concentrate with the temperatures that are always changing,” senior Danesha Simms said. “And I think it would change my life to have the temperatures steady, especially in the trailers.”