PROCEDURES AND SCHOOL CLOSING DECISIONS
All public schools in Carroll County will be closed on days when inclement weather conditions warrant. The decision to close schools is made by the Superintendent and announcements, if at all possible, will be made no later than 6:00 a.m. This determination is made after consulting with weather forecasters, the State Police, highway departments and other sources in different parts of the county.
In addition to the possibility of schools being closed, delayed, or dismissed early due to winter conditions (snow, ice), there is the possibility of early dismissal due to excessive heat. Parents should be prepared for that possibility.
The official stations for carrying school closing announcements are:
WTTR (1470 AM) Westminster
WAFY-KEY (103.1FM) Frederick
WANN (1190 AM) Annapolis
WASA (1330 AM) Havre deGrace
WBAL (1090 AM) Baltimore
WCAO (600 AM) Baltimore
WCRH (90.5 FM) Williamsport
WFMD (930 AM) Frederick
WGET (1320 AM) Gettysburg
WHVR (1280 AM) Hanover
WMAL (630 AM) Washington
WMIX (106.5 FM) Baltimore
WPOC (93.1 FM) Baltimore
WQSR (102.7 FM) Baltimore
WRBS (95.1 FM) Baltimore
WTOP (1500 AM) Washington
WWLG (1360 AM) Baltimore
WXTR (104.1 FM) Washington
WYCR (98.5 FM) Hanover
Television - Channel 21, Westminster
Adelphia Cable - Channel 3, Westminster
WMAR-TV Channel 2, Baltimore
WBAL-TV Channel 11, Baltimore
WJZ-TV Channel 13, Baltimore
WBFF- Fox 45, Baltimore
WJLA-TV Channel 7, Washington
WRC-TV Channel 4, Washington
WUSA-TV Channel 9, Washington
Fox Channel 5, Washington
If the opening of schools must be delayed or schools must be closed early, notification will be made through the stations listed. No announcement will be made when schools are on a regular schedule.
When schools are closed due to inclement weather, all activities shall be canceled. All activities scheduled for weekends and/or holidays shall be canceled if the snow emergency plan is in effect at any time the day of or still in effect at 6:00 p.m. the day prior to the scheduled event. Unless required for school-based activities, snow removal should not be expected and appropriate precautions taken by users.
Parents and pupils are urged not to call the stations or the Board of Education office to inquire about school closings.
SCHOOL CLOSING DECISIONS
The Carroll County Public School System understands that the decision to open or close schools in inclement weather has a big effect on families. We also understand that our students are better served, both academically and socially, by being in school. However, our top priority, as always, is the safety of our students.
Who makes the decision?
The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the final decision, based on recommendations from the Director of Transportation Services.
How is the decision made?
When the school system is advised by the weather service that storm conditions exist, three or four Transportation officials are sent out at 3:00 a.m. to survey the roads. Each section of the county is driven to determine if the roads are, or will be, safe for children to travel on school buses. Transportation staff is in constant contact with weather stations, county and state government staff, police, Transportation officials in other counties, and each other during the road and weather assessment.
While on the road, the following factors are used to develop the recommendation for closing school:
- Existing road conditions across the entire county. Remember, even if your street or road looks clear, travel elsewhere in the county may be dangerous.
- Amount of snow and ice that has accumulated and whether it will continue.
- Temperature and wind chill.
- Weather predictions – The school system prefers not making a decision based on weather predictions, which are not always accurate. However, weather predictions are considered in combination with existing conditions.
- School parking lots (both student and staff).
- Other traffic (other traffic can slide into buses or make waiting at bus stops dangerous).
- Other factors specific to the current weather pattern or conditions.
How is the public notified?
The school system has a list that provides parents and students with the radio and TV stations that will have up-to-date information on school closings. Please see page 20. You can also check the CCPS website at www.carrollk12.org or Carroll Educational Television - Channel 21.
When is the decision made?
The decision will be made no later than 6:00 a.m. in order to notify radio and TV stations, send out an e-mail on eSchoolnewsletter, post the decision on the CCPS website and Channel 21, and notify “schools-out.com.”
Will we close school when weather conditions worsen?
Keep in mind that even if weather conditions change, a decision cannot be reversed during the morning run without affecting students and their parents and/or families.
Once the decision is made to open schools, many parents rely on this decision and leave for work. If it were decided to send students back home, many may return to unsupervised conditions. When weather conditions change during the school day, it may be necessary to have an early dismissal. The school system will strive to give adequate notice to parents first.
Please discourage teenagers from driving to and from school in adverse weather conditions.
The Carroll County Public School System transports over 28,000 students to and from school every school day using more than 350 buses. There is no perfect decision when deciding to close school, but the Superintendent will always make his decision with the safety of each student in mind.
It is hoped that this explanation helps everyone understand the process used to make the best possible decision concerning weather-related school closings.