Baltimore County School Board Modifies Heat Closing Policy

The Baltimore County school board voted Tuesday night to modify the policy that has required officials to close schools for extreme heat on two of the first five days of the school year.

Schools that lack air conditioning now may remain open unless the heat index is forecast to reach 90 degrees by 11 a.m. If the heat index is expected to reach 90 degrees by 3 p.m., parents may keep their children home and get an excused absence.

The original policy required officials to close schools if the heat index was forecast to hit 90 at any point in the day. The board voted 8-3 to change it.

“We all support healthy school environments,” said school board member Edward Gilliss, but “sometimes those bright-line policies” need amending.