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Baltimore schools without A/C remain under modified schedules; two pools stay open amid heat wave

Baltimore schools without A/C remain under modified schedules; two pools stay open amid heat wave
Baltimore schools without A/C remain under modified schedules; two pools stay open amid heat wave 02:34

BALTIMORE -- The Code Red Extreme Heat Alert is having an impact on the school year.

Several Baltimore City schools are adjusting their schedules and some pools are extending their season.

With temperatures well into the 90s, people are finding ways to stay cool.

Pools at Druid Hill Park and Riverside Park are staying open past Labor Day because of the extreme temperatures.

"You can't focus in the heat, can't focus, it's too hot," a Harlem Park Middle Elementary School parent said. 

Just days into the school year, some Baltimore City classrooms are empty because the brutal temperatures are forcing the district to switch gears.  

"We'll always make a pivot, whether it be heat, cold, the pandemic, we will always do what's right for our students," said Andre Riley, Baltimore City Schools Executive Director of Communications.

Baltimore City schools without air conditioning either dismiss early or hold virtual learning through Friday, as a potentially record-breaking heat wave looms over the second week of school. 

At the 10 city schools without air conditioning, students in grades 2 through 12 will have live virtual classes from home. 

Students in Kindergarten and first grade will attend in person on an early release schedule. The school district said the students' learning spaces will be moved to air-conditioned rooms. Transportation and meals will be provided.  

Pre-Kindergarten students will have asynchronous virtual learning, with early learning staff available to support the students virtually.

The district said each school has a learning plan to support students, including those with special education or other needs, and will contact families to share details. 

"If they are gone do half a day, they might as well let them stay home period," a parent said.

WJZ spoke with parents at Harlem Park and City Springs Elementary Middle schools, two of the 16, out of 161 schools in the district directly impacted.  

"Everybody should have air," a parent said. "You have air at your job, in your car, why not in our schools?"

Making steady progress, Baltimore City School leaders say there are plans in place to equip all buildings with air conditioning.

Outside of the schools, this extreme heat means more time in the pool. 

"I am really excited to go swimming," a child said.

"They had an early release from school so I said maybe we should come to swim," a parent said.

Helping families stay cool, Baltimore Recs and Parks are keeping Druid Hill and Riverside Park pools open until Sunday, Sept. 10.

Pool hours are Tuesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours will remain the same.

"The pool gives our residents and opportunity to cool off and escape the heat," said Karen Jordan, Deputy Director of Communications at the Baltimore Recs and Parks.

Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County schools have canceled all outdoor athletics.

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