High Temperatures Causing School Districts to Wrap Up Classes Early

As temperatures are starting to creep up, schools around the country are debating releasing for summer vacation early.   June 10, 2022

By Dave Lubach, managing editor

As school years wrap up across the country and the temperatures start to rise, students and teachers in educational facilities are facing an uncomfortable finish to the academic year. 

The Washington Post recently reported that school districts on the East Coast are letting students out early because high temperatures and the lack of air conditioning in the school buildings are creating uncomfortable conditions affecting students’ ability to study and teachers’ ability to do their jobs. 

The story focuses on two areas of the country that are increasingly affected by warm, humid weather — the Northeast and Pacific Northwest — in a nod to the effects of climate change on the country. 

The article referenced a 2020 study in the journal Nature Behavior that found students scored worse on standardized exams for every additional day of 80-degree weather or higher temperatures. The study also showed links to impaired learning for minority students who are less likely to have air-conditioned school buildings. 

Many school district buildings in the Northeast are also decades old and were built before the inclusion of air conditioning, which leads to the growing need across the country that school districts need to upgrade buildings. 

A study from the Government Accountability Office says 41 percent of public-school districts in the country need to replace the HVAC systems in at least half their schools. That amounts to about 36,000 buildings. 

Dave Lubach is the managing editor, Facility Market. 


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