Monarch Academy in Northeast Baltimore. Photo by Eli Pousson, via Flickr.

It’s school-infrastructure-vulnerability season once again, when extreme temperatures and shaky HVAC equipment leave schools vulnerable to closure and send the kids home early.

Today brought early dismissals for the roughly 540 middle and high schoolers at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women in Mount Vernon, as well as nearly 1,000 elementary and middle schoolers at the soon-to-be-shuttered Monarch Academy in Northeast Baltimore.

Baltimore City Public Schools attributed both charter schools’ early dismissals to air conditioning issues. A pop-up notice on the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women’s website also mentioned “extreme temperatures in the building.”

Due to air-conditioning problems, the following schools will close early today, Monday, May 20: Monarch Academy, dismissing at 12:30 p.m. and Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, dismissing at 12:50 p.m. for the upper school and 1:15 p.m. for the middle school.

— Baltimore City Public Schools (@BaltCitySchools) May 20, 2019

Charter schools that own their buildings are responsible for facility maintenance.

At the time of the announcement, temps were hovering in the upper 80s. The rest of the week is due to be milder, with highs in the mid-70s and low 80s through Friday.

The closures come as students have exactly one month left in the academic year. This period is book-ending a school year that began with six dozen schools shutting down early due to steamy temperatures and a lack of serviceable air conditioning for proper learning.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...