Classrooms Too Hot or Too Cold? Here Are the PGCPS Thermostat Settings Regulations

by Genevieve Demos Kelley

We have heard from teachers, parents, and students from across the county who are concerned about 20150515_104837the classroom temperatures at their schools. One teacher at a county middle school writes:

On Friday May 15th, [2015] my classroom was 64 degrees F. On Tuesday May 19th, my classroom was 81 degrees F. Despite continual emails to the school administration asking about the cooling system’s condition, there was no response.

The next day, on May 20th, I took my class outside, to the front courtyard, because my room was just as hot and humid as the day before. Ironically, another teacher from down the hall took her students outside to the rear courtyard because her classroom was so cold.  Another teacher brought in gloves, a scarf, and hat because she said her classroom temperature dropped below 60 degrees F.

So, how hot or cold are classrooms supposed to be? How about bathrooms, health rooms, and hallways? The Building Services Department has answers on its website. The “PGPCPS Seasonal Temperature Standards” are designated as Energy Conservation/ Bulletins S-46-96 and S-90-93, regulating thermostat settings for facilities in the school system.

Building Services designates the period from October 20th through April 15th as “heating season.”  Below are the heating season thermostat setting regulations.

From Energy Conservation/ Bulletin S-46-96:
Heating Season Thermostat Setting:

  •  Special Education Centers:
    • 72° F. (all areas)
  • Elementary Schools
    • 72° F. (health rooms)
    • 68° F. (classrooms, offices)
    • 65° F. (MP room and gym)
    • 55° F. (halls, bathrooms, storage)
  • Secondary Schools & Administrative Offices
    • 72° F. (health rooms)
    • 65° F. (classrooms, offices)
    • 60° F. (MP room, gym)
    • 55° F. (halls, bathrooms, storage)

From Energy Conservation / Bulletin S-90-93
(Air-Conditioned Spaces)

Cooling Season Period: May 5th – October 15th

Cooling Season Thermostat Setting:

  • Special Education Centers:
    • 75° F.
  • All Other Locations:
    • 78° F.

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