Going Inside Stratford’s Tundras and Deserts

“Why is it so hot/cold in here?” asks every Stratford student. Ever. Why? Because

Stratford Academy consistently seems to be the temperature students don’t want it to be: either scalding hot in the winter or Arctic cold in the spring and the fall, even though each classroom is equipped with a thermostat.

According to Upper School Principal Margaret Brogdon, there is not a school rule regulating temperatures. However, Stratford does refer to guidelines suggesting ideal temperatures for a learning environment.

“The teachers control the individual thermostats in their classrooms. At the end of the school day, they are asked to turn the thermostat to a moderate setting in order to keep costs low. I usually like my room to be in a sort of moderate zone. I try to appeal to the students as well. If the students are not comfortable, then I think that’s not a good learning environment, so I’m constantly asking students about comfort,” Brogdon said.

Faculty have different ideas on how to handle their classroom temperature.

Mr. Ben McLain, upper school Spanish teacher, allows students to control his room temperature.

Ms. Maddie Henderson, upper school English teacher, teaches all of her classes in the MU (the mobile unit). She controls the temperature. “Come May, it will be really hot in there so we have fans, but they’re really loud making it hard to hear. In the winter, I have to turn the heat on, but I like it hot,” Henderson said.

While Henderson prefers her classroom a little warm, fellow English teacher Dr. Frank Katz has a different reputation. He notoriously dwells in Stratford’s very own icy tundra.

“My thermostat only gets down to 55 degrees although there are some people who have measured it  and said, obviously incorrectly, because of the school mandated temperatures, that its been as low as 50 degrees.  If it were true that it were that cold, which obviously isn’t, it would be that cold because the teacher lives in it and enjoys that temperature throughout the day, whereas the students are only there for 45 minutes at a time,” Katz said.

In addition, it’s possible that the school dress code for male faculty mandates either a shirt and tie or a turtleneck and sweater. If that were the case, and the loophole of turtleneck and sweater be discovered, and it was much more comfortable than a shirt and tie, then that might warrant the temperatures theoretically being lowered in the room. But that’s not true because the school has mandated a temperature between 72 and 75 degrees in the classroom, and I would never break a school rule,” Katz said.

A mandated classroom temperature does not exist, according to Brogdon.