BALTIMORE (WJZ) — WJZ reported two weeks ago at the start of school, there were 31 schools with early dismissals. That number: down to 27 today as the district continues repairs and improvements.

The closing bell came early again for Benjamin Franklin High School Monday.

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“Period two and period six feels hot,” says Alicia Adams, a student.

Alicia Adams’s mom juggled school with doctor’s appointments.

“This is an ongoing problem so long, it’s not even healthy to have their rooms hot with COVID spreading like it is,” said Rachel Strozykowski, a parent.

“It’s a distraction, they can’t do work,” said Joel Greenidge, another parent. “They can’t do much of anything.”

The school district has been gradually upgrading buildings since the state approved a plan in 2017.

“This is the first time in all her schooling that we’ve been in a school with no air conditioning,” said Strozykowski.

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“Year after year, it’s the same nonsense. I keep hearing the same thing over and over,” said Greenidge.

The mayor says it’s not as easy as air conditioner units.

“For example, City College is not a place where you can just go and plug in air conditioning units when you’re talking about a castle built hundreds of years ago,” said Mayor Scott.

“Why haven’t they taken care of that,” asked Greenidge. “To me, that’s some of the most basic of needs.”

“This is an aggressive pace when you think about how capital projects are done,” added Mayor Scott.

City schools say they’re on track to meet the goal the state set: to get all schools up to speed on air conditioning by next school year. In a statement, a spokesman said, in part, the district, “reduced the number of schools without air conditioning from 75 schools in 2017 to 21 schools as of last month.”

That is 54 additional schools with air conditioning since the plan was approved four years ago, along with necessary upgrades to electrical systems and windows.

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In the past two weeks, repairs have finished at Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary, Baltimore International Academy West, Connexions and Southwest Baltimore Charter.

Paul Gessler