With the oldest public school buildings in Maryland, the district makes signficant investments in maintenance for buildings to support high-quality teaching and learning. The Comprehensive Educational Facilities Master Plan includes details about facility conditions and maintenance . The Comprehensive Maintenance Plan outlines the district's commitment to providing efficient, effective maintenance across the district.
Keeping school buildings warm or cool
Cold weather. In prolonged or extreme cold weather, some schools with older heating systems can experience problems with malfunctioning heating equipment or burst pipes and associated water damage. In this case, the district may need to close buildings or dismiss early due to lack of adequate heat and water.
Guidelines for closing schools in cold weather
(Note that these guidelines relate only to conditions in buildings. Find out about decisions for "snow days" here.)
- Between 6:30 and 9:00 every morning, school staff use highly accurate infrared thermometers to take readings from specified areas of every school building and report to the district office.
- If temperatures are below 60 degrees in many areas of the building, the principal calls a designated direct phone line at the district office to report a problem.
- A facilities technician goes to the school and determines how quickly the problem can be addressed.
- If the temperature is below 60 in a classroom, school staff will relocate students to a warmer area of the building. If temperatures below 60 are widespread and the facilities technician determines the problem cannot be fixed within two hours, the principal and district leadership will determine if a closure or early dismissal is necessary.
- An option has been added to the district’s main phone line (443-984-2000), so members of the public and other staff can report maintenance concerns directly.
In the event that schools must close, delay opening, or dismiss early, parents/guardians can receive phone calls, text messages, and emails. Visit this webpage, and make sure your school has your current contact information so we can reach you.
Warm weather. City Schools is moving to install air-conditioning in all school buildings, but at this time, many schools have no air-conditioning or outdated systems that don't provide adequate cooling.
While the district works hard to open all buildings every school day, in extreme heat a decision may be made to close these "non-AC" schools or dismiss early if conditions in buildings could pose health problems for students or staff.
Guidelines for closing schools in hot weather (updated September 6, 2018)
Early dismissal for all non-AC schools will be considered when...
- The temperature in the majority of classrooms in most buildings is 85 degrees or higher, and students cannot be relocated to cooler areas
(principals will report inside temperatures to the district office no later than 10:00 a.m. each day during hot weather)
- or -
- The outside heat index reaches 100 degrees by 10:30 a.m.
(this is the "feels like" reading that combines temperature and humidity)
If either of these conditions is met, the listed non-AC schools will dismiss three hours early. Find out how to be notified if schools are dismissing early.
Note that the district may also consider closing individual schools depending on conditions in specific buildings. This includes air-conditioned schools, if their cooling systems are not working properly and repairs cannot be made quickly.