Are you in the business of education or running schools? If so, you need to pay attention to the environment of your classrooms and the well-being of your students, as those will impact all stakeholders of you business.
Schools across the nation generally start back in August or September. In some parts of the country, those months are particularly hot. This is especially so in the southern and western parts of the United States. Unfortunately, some schools in these areas still lack classrooms with an air conditioner for students.
If a student sits in class all day sweating, they are not likely to concentrate very hard on their studies. Being hot is very uncomfortable. And not only that, it can pose some very difficult health issues. When children go to school, they should be in a learning environment that is safe and comfortable. Even studies show that extreme heat can affect the learning process. That being said, it’s a no-brainer that air conditioners should be mandatory in schools.
Why Are There Schools Without Air Conditioners?
While some schools have no air conditioner, the plain truth is that some with broken systems. Some school districts are cash-strapped and scarcely have enough money for books, let alone repairs. This can be a huge problem for a child’s learning capacity.
Reasons Why Schools Should Have Air Conditioning
School is hard enough as it is. There is no point in having children attempting to learn under circumstances that make it even harder. If a child already has a learning disability, a hot class will only worsen.
When the body overheats, the brain goes into survival mode. Instead of learning, the priority turns to cool down. In this case, the student will have a lack of concentration. Studies show that cooler temperatures make the brain work as it’s supposed to. If the concentration is high, the students will have better grades.
2. Air Quality
Air conditioners filter out the bad environmental toxins. Schools are often large buildings. Bad, stagnant air can get trapped inside if it is not filtered and recirculated. Good air conditioning is conducive to the better overall health of the students and the staff. Students who have allergies can also benefit from air conditioning due to better air quality.
3. Complex Lessons
With a better concentration level in a cooler environment, students can function better during the hottest times. This also goes for the teacher. When the area is cooler, it lessens the chance of students becoming irritable and acting out. No teacher wants to work in an environment where they deal with disruptive students. According to some studies, better student behaviour has been attributed to a cooler learning environment.
4. Exam Results
When exams are given in an overheated environment, students have a higher chance of failing. According to some studies, failure rates in hot classrooms can rise by 12%. If students are hot, they become more careless about working through problems and sometimes skip steps. Students will take more time to think about problems and solve them accordingly in a cooler environment.
Cooler temperatures will help everyone in the classroom. It helps with concentration, and it can also save money on the electrical bills for the schools.
Mandatory Air Conditioners In Schools
Even though there is plenty of research to prove that students perform better in cooler environments, there are no mandates to force schools to have air conditioners.
From students to teachers to administrators, many people have lobbied for air conditioners in schools. Particular regions around the country have poorer schools that lack money. This is particularly true in some inner-city schools and some in the Delta and Appalachia regions. This may reason why some of these students fail to thrive academically.
Some schools that don’t have air conditioners have contingency plans if the temperatures reach 90 degrees. Unfortunately, if a heatwave is ongoing, that 90-degree temperature can be met before noon. In public safety, some schools will dismiss children early if it becomes extremely hot.
Not all plans have the desired effect. In some schools, room size is doubled to accommodate the children. This is not a good solution because studies show that large classes can negatively affect learning.
The bottom line is, funding needs to be in place for schools to have air conditioners. This would solve the issue of students missing valuable time away from school. Students can work in a healthy, safe, and cool environment. This is beneficial to all parties involved.
While some of the poorer school districts have gone without air conditioners, the same happens in larger cities like Baltimore, New York, and even Philadelphia. It is often taken for granted that larger school districts have unlimited resources simply because of geography.
The good thing is some of these school districts are making concerted efforts to get air conditioners where it is needed. Many of these areas routinely have temperatures that spike above 90 degrees. New York City, the largest school district in the country, reported that $29 million is being spent on air conditioners in all classrooms.
Of the 11 million classrooms in New York City, about a quarter of them don’t have classrooms with air conditioners.
“When it’s cool, children don’t have a problem,” said New York City Councilman Brady Lander. It’s when the temperature spikes about 90 when we have a problem.
About 30 percent of school districts reported that even though they have air conditioners, the units were either fair or poor. Many of the units would only work sometimes. They tend to go out when they are needed on hot days. And they were not fixed promptly.
Again, children are the ones who suffer when the air conditioners are in disrepair. Even districts that have the extra money seem not to want to prioritize when it comes to keeping students cool.
Air conditioners in the South are almost a must. Once you move beyond this region, access is spotty at best.
The Detroit area has some of the most decrepit schools in the nation. And just one in three has schools have functioning air conditioners. And although Detroit is far North, there are many times when the city sees temperatures that exceed 90 degrees.
The issue of lack of an air conditioner in Detroit schools is something that has been in the news on several occasions. The schools get so hot that the floors have buckled in some cases. The children also have some of the lowest academic achievements in the nation. While not all of the school district’s problems can be traced to the lack of air conditioners, it is something to ponder.
If children are forced to go to class in deplorable conditions without properly cooled classrooms, it will affect them. At a recent school district meeting, the lack of air conditioners was addressed. There was a pledge made to address it, but nothing has been done to date.
The bottom line is that air conditioners are a must for students who live in regions with significant heat. Studies show the real academic effects it can have on children who cannot concentrate and perform. Hopefully, school districts will hurry up and right this wrong so that more children will not fall by the wayside.