Watch CBS News

Baltimore Schools Without Air Conditioning Bring Additional Challenges To Unique School Year

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- More than two dozen city schools don't have proper air conditioning.

The district's policy is to dismiss students at noon on hot days, making the start of an already challenging school year even more demanding.

CIty College High School classrooms sit empty Tuesday afternoon after another half-day.

"It's disruptive, because you love seeing your friends for the first time in a while. You wish you could hang out with them a little more," said Henry MacGillis, a City College junior.

Said Cole Kannam, another City College student: "It's kind of like a grind, but honestly, I'm just happy to be back in the classroom after last year being all virtual."

Windows are propped open. Some classrooms have window air conditioner units, but it's one of more than 30 city schools without proper air conditioning.

"We're not as privileged as other schools with A/C built in, but our teachers and our school are trying," said Parin Herman, a City College freshman. "We're not as privileged as other schools with A/C built-in, but our teachers and our school are trying."

Said Kannam: "There are schools that everyone doesn't have A/C and I understand that can be a real struggle."

This time six years ago, WJZ reported 69 city schools lacked air conditioning.

Tuesday, 31 schools were dismissed early because of either no air conditioning or it is under repair.

"We have it awfully better. Even though we don't have A/C, we have some window units. We have some windows. I feel bad for other schools, too, that don't even have windows or A/C units in the school," MacGillis said.

Mask mandates mark just how different these hot days are compared to years past.

"It definitely doesn't help, but obviously we have to wear masks to keep everyone safe," said Nick Yezzi, a City College junior.

Students note many of the classrooms without air conditioning have fans and teachers are flexible on water breaks.

The district's policy for dismissal cites, "Extremely hot days or (days) that feel warmer due to a combination of heat and humidity."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.