Parents complain about cold Baltimore City Schools, district working to fix old system

Posted at 3:00 PM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 18:47:51-05

Concerned parents are speaking out through email, social media websites and phone calls saying the temperature is too cold inside Baltimore City Public Schools.

"It felt like it is outside. It was really really cold. All the teachers were walking around with hats, and gloves and coats. They had a classroom that came out, all the kids were bundled up like they were outside," mother Marsha Buie said.

Buie has a 5-year-old special needs daughter at Calverton Elementary School, and was at the school Tuesday morning for a meeting with the principal. She said her child's classroom had heat but none of the others did.

"I saw a guy come in and he said he was going to work on the boiler, that's fine. But while you're working on the boiler, let the kids go home," Buie said.

Buie said there's no way the kids could concentrate in that environment. She's also concerned about students getting sick because of the cold weather.

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On Monday a woman posted a picture of a thermometer that read 44 degrees, saying it was taken at Collington Square Elementary/Middle School classroom.

Alexandria Warrick-Adams, a community school lead agency partner, said the problem is old infrastructure.

"Heating is either irregular, or it is non existent, boilers break down, and they're putting band-aid fixes on it," she said. 

Warrick-Adams said the district is doing everything they can to fix the problem, but there isn't enough money available.

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At Govans Elementary School, parents emailed staff asking what the issue with heating was there.

District spokeswoman Edie House Foster said all schools have heat, but the system has been working overtime in the extreme cold which has caused problems. She said Calverton's boiler went out yesterday, it was restarted, then went out Monday night, and was restarted at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

Five rooms at Collington Square Elementary/Middle School did not have heat, but she maintained that the building had heat.

House Foster said at Govans Elementary School the pump that provides heat to the hallways was malfunctioning this week. A piece was ordered and is expected to arrive any day.

The district works to keep schools between 68 and 72 degrees during the winter.

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