Heat closes all Arundel, 2 city schools early


The continued hot weather throughout the area led Anne Arundel officials to close schools three hours early today, and air-conditioning problems forced the early close of some schools in Baltimore.

The temperature hit 87 degrees at 1 p.m. at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, according to the National Weather Service. But a temperature reading was unavailable in downtown Baltimore because of equipment problems.

In Anne Arundel County, school officials considered the heat, humidity and the effect on instruction in deciding to close early, said Ron Beckett, assistant superintendent for support service.

Beckett said that since students already had started the school day, they won't have to make it up at the end of the year.

In Baltimore, most schools remained open today despite the heat, but Southern High School and Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School closed early because of air-conditioning problems.

Lockerman-Bundy Elementary also had closed Friday because of air-conditioning problems, said Douglas J. Neilson, a schools spokesman. Two weeks ago, two city schools were closed because of faulty air conditioning.

Most city schools are not air-conditioned but have windows that can be opened to help cool them, said Neilson. Schools that have air conditioning have windows that can't be opened, he said.

School department policy calls for a citywide closing if the temperature in the city reaches 90 degrees before 11 a.m. on a

school day. Last year, schools closed early one day because of heat, said Neilson.

In Harford County, kindergarten was canceled this afternoon because of the heat, a move affecting about 3,000 students. More than half of 43 elementary schools in the county are air-conditioned.

In Carroll County, officials were not planning to close school early because of the heat, said Brian Lockard, the county's assistant superintendent in charge of instruction. At least half of the county's schools are air conditioned, he said.

Baltimore County and Howard County schools were expected to remain open throughout the day.

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