Baltimore County Public Schools is considering adjusting its policies on when to close schools because…
A reader recently asked: “Do you know if the new BCPS heat-closure policy will affect both non-AC and schools with AC? One thing I read said that only non-AC schools would be affected but other places say it will affect schools in zones where there is no AC. Do you think it would be possible that kids that go to a non-AC school could lose their spring break while the kids that to AC schools get their full break? Anticipating having some sibling jealousy if that’s the case.”
This is a great question. There are probably a fair number of us who have a kid at a non-air-conditioned school and a kid at a school with AC. And of course, even if you don’t, all BCPS students will be affected by this.
In the past, when Baltimore County Public Schools closed because of heat, they closed all schools, even those that have AC. That is no longer the case.
The new policy says: “The Board directs the Superintendent to close all non-air-conditioned schools when the heat index is forecast to reach at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit any time during the following day.”
I asked BCPS to explain what would happen if spring break had to be shortened because of too many heat-closure days: Would only non-AC schools get a shorter break?
Michele Prumo, chief of staff for BCPS, told me: “If spring break is affected for school closings, the break will be affected for the system.”
BCPS can apply for a waiver so that it doesn’t need to make up all days lost to heat closures, but the waivers are not automatic.
“The school system must apply to the State for any waivers,” Prumo said. “However, the school system first needs to demonstrate that it adjusted its calendar as much as possible to accommodate any lost time.”
So, no sibling jealousy, but a potentially shorter break for all students.