Dear HCPSS families,
As we look ahead at this school year, I know that many families are already speculating the number of inclement weather days we might have. While my personal and professional preference would be to not have any inclement weather dates this winter, we know that weather can be unpredictable. I wanted to remind families that certain days during spring break in April 2018 may need to be used to make-up inclement weather days.
Based on State rules, the school calendar must have several days within the school year that can be used as weather make-up days. In the calendar adopted by the Board of Education, these days were identified as: Monday, February 19, Wednesday, April 4, Thursday, April 5, Friday April 6, and Friday, June, 15. The potential inclement weather make-up days of Wednesday, April 4 through Friday, April 6take place during spring break. I recognize spring break is an important time for families to spend time together and so I encourage you to consider flexibility when making your spring break plans in the event one or more of those days are needed for make-up days. For example, you may want to wait to make non-refundable bookings or purchase travel insurance.
We are one of five school systems in Maryland to preserve spring break with the new State rules on the school calendar, however, we were unable to avoid scheduling potential inclement weather make-up days during the break. Please note these days will be used as a last resort to make up for lost instructional time. If at all possible, we will use Presidents’ Day, on Monday, February 19, and Friday, June 15 as the first two inclement weather make-up days. However, the timing of inclement weather may make it impossible to use February 19. Under any circumstances, if we have more than two closings for inclement weather the days over spring break will be needed to make up school.To see our current SY17-18 calendar, please visit the HCPSS school calendar page.
The safety of our students and staff is my top priority, and all inclement weather decisions will be based on safety, not calendar impact. When a weather event is predicted, I work collaboratively with the HCPSS Director of Pupil Transportation, the Grounds Department, the state and county road departments, transportation staff in surrounding school districts, the Howard County and State Police Departments and others to determine if schools should close for inclement weather. To learn more about the inclement weather decision process, visit our emergency closing page.
Michael J. Martirano