Students colder due to new COVID-19 policy


Sophia Halpern

The open window in the Mass COmmunications room overlooking the pit. Windows in classrooms must be open to increase ventilation because of COVID-19.

Sophia Halpern

In the annoying, but not devastating, area of concern, students are cold.

In classrooms, the windows are open and the fans are on full blast due to new COVID-19 guidelines. Additionally, in some classrooms the heaters don’t work.

The Portland Public Schools (PPS) back-to-school website highlights this year’s COVID-19 policy: “Staff will use operable windows and doors to help increase ventilation as needed.”  

The open windows are proving to be an unpleasant new experience for students this year.

Tess Cupper, a sophomore, says that this is a problem she has been noticing more and more recently.

“It’s really distracting, especially when I sit right next to the window. It is hard for me to stay focused while I am also trying to stay warm,” she said.

Cupper says that she has to wear a really big puffer coat just to stay warm during her classes.

School Business Manager Jill Ross had a similar view on the open windows. 

“Teachers are keeping many windows open, which may give the rooms a colder than normal temperature,” Ross said.

Despite the cold classrooms, staff and students recognize that the open window policy is a necessary COVID-19 precaution. 

“The open windows are part of the protocol to help ensure everyone is safe from COVID-19,” Roger Hastings, Lincoln’s lead custodian, said.

Sophomore Weilai Nathan agreed. 

“Some classrooms get really cold with the windows open, especially when I’m sitting next to the window, but I understand that we need them open because of COVID-19 safety,” she said. 

It seems that the open windows are yet another aspect of life during COVID-19 that students and staff will have to deal with in order to keep everyone safe, even if it feels like the Arctic in our classrooms.