How is the decision made to close schools during inclement weather?
Weather information is gathered from many sources including numerous web-based weather
sites, traditional media outlets, communications with state and county road maintenance crews
and police, shared information amongst all regional counties such as St. Maryâ€™s, Charles, Anne
Arundel, and Prince Georgeâ€™s, and internet messaging amongst 20 counties in Maryland and
Virginia for the most up-to-date information. Additionally, our local Emergency Operation
Center provides conference calls with the National Weather Service and all Maryland counties in
the cases of our most severe weather such as an impending hurricane, ice storm, or blizzard.
Information is also gathered by 3 members of the Transportation Staff who ride pre-selected
routes in southern, central, and northern Calvert County beginning at 2:30 a.m. or earlier when a
morning storm is anticipated or in progress.
Weather, unlike a power outage, is not confined to a single area and can affect different parts of
our county differently. Therefore, the most severe weather conditions within the county are used
as the basis for decision-making. A uniform procedure to close all schools is maintained so that
the school system can respond quickly to emergency weather conditions and protect the safety
and well-being of all students, staff, parents, and community members.
In this video, the Director of Transportation explains how the decision is made to close schools.
The weather may be bad elsewhere in the county but fine where I live. Why arenâ€™t the
nearby schools in our school zone open?
The decision to close schools because of inclement weather is always for the entire system. To
close by area would mean students living in a less affected area might be unable to attend their
school and vice-versa. This creates unequal access to the instructional programs and making sure
each student receives 180 state-required days of school becomes difficult. Schools must be
accessible for all students to be given the ability to equitably participate in instructional
programs. Also, it is illegal to deny transportation to special education students living in a closed
school area to their school in an open school area.
What about after-school and/or week-end activities?
After-school and week-end activities are evaluated and announced in the same manner as regular
How do I find out that schools are closed/closing?
Local Radio Stations WTOP (103.5 FM), 97.7 FM, 98.3 FM, 102.9 FM, WBAL 1090AM
What Factors Are Taken Into Account When Deciding to Change
School Schedules Because of Inclement Weather
The decision to cancel school, start late or close early because of inclement weather is
complicated and based on many factors such as:
Safety of students and employees on the road and at bus stops
Current and forecasted weather conditions â€“ if the decision is made prior to dawn,
how conditions will change when the sun comes up are factored in
Road conditions, including road treatments of sand and salt
Road and air temperature
Electrical and heating service in the schools
Impact to the community
Impact to the educational process
Every effort will be made to make a decision to delay or close schools by 5:00 a.m. In order
to start schools on time, the first buses must be on the road by 6:00 a.m. In order to close schools two hours early, every effort will be made to make a decision by 10:45 a.m.