The ‘Extreme Heat’ Policy!

Keondra DeNeal, Opinion Writer

The extremely sweltering days are over at Overlea High School and at the many other schools without air conditioning in Baltimore County. On August 31, 2016, the heat policy was revised so that schools close when the heat index reaches a temperature of ninety degrees. Thankfully, just in time for the 2016-2017 school year. The time of suffering to learn new concepts in extreme heat has finally come to an end.

I was a little skeptical of the policy the first time I heard of it because of how the previous policy work—it didn’t. When I noticed that it was based on the heat index I couldn’t be happier because of the circumstances within the building. It could be eighty-eight degrees outside but the real feel is ninety-two and the inside of the school building is reaching a temperature of nearly one hundred degrees. I couldn’t be any more in favor of the new policy that was put into action.
If anyone knows how hot this school can get as well as a student is a teacher. “Having worked in a building without air conditioning, students don’t learn well and teachers don’t teach well, especially the third floor is very hot,” said chemistry teacher Mrs. Moffa.

I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to have to work in such an environment where the job requirements are walking about a stifling room trying to teach thirty teenagers at once. It’s hard enough to sit in that room let alone breathe.
What’s most exciting about this is that I’m not the only person that thinks that the first policy was better. The first policy stated that if the weather predicted a heat index of ninety degrees or above non-air condition schools close. After this was put in place, schools were closed three days in the first couple weeks of school. The policy was changed to: schools close if the heat index reaches ninety degrees by eleven. “The first policy was better but, I’m happy that there is acknowledgement for schools without air conditioning,” says Tyrees Woodman (‘17).

For many years, Overlea High School has been a non-air conditioned school and still is, partially, due to current renovations. Though some may have their opinions due to the old and new heat policies, the policy created at the beginning of the school year was better.