We need your help.
As colder days set in, it won’t be unusual to hear about Memphis schools closing because the heat isn’t working.
In fact, in the past year thousands of students — at least 5,700 at a dozen schools across Shelby County Schools and the state-run Achievement School District — missed class because there was no heat. Power outages kept 3,400 more out of school in the past year.
The research is not new. Cold classrooms and other adverse conditions can affect student learning, including test scores, attendance and overall student performance.
Although news that an issue large enough to close an entire school is common, we often don’t hear about individual cold classrooms filled with students who aren’t sent home.
That’s where you come in.
Tell us about those classrooms and schools. We’ll create a “heat map” — a map of classrooms without heat based on your submissions. We want to better understand the scope of heating issues across all public schools in Memphis, including traditional schools, charter schools, and state-run schools. We’ll collect answers throughout the winter and report back what we hear.
Shelby County Schools is reworking a massive facilities plan that could include school closures. District officials are expected to submit a plan this spring to county commissioners for funding.
But for now, we’re asking you to tell us if you know of a cold classroom by filling out the form below. If you have photos, videos, or just have a question, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also text “heat” to (901) 390-9725 to participate.