By Nicole King
Despite the small area, Maryland is the state of traumatic climate changes due to its unpredictability. With an array of climate changes, no one ever knows whether they will need their winter jacket or flip flops. Temperatures have ranged from the highest of 109 degrees to its lowest of negative 40 degrees fahrenheit. It ranges from being chilly in the morning to scorching hot in the afternoon. Senior, Michael Forester, said that him and his friends “...always have to wear their hat and gloves in the morning, but end up walking around in shorts by the end of the day.” Some days include pouring rain one minute and sunshine the next. All of these erratic changes cause a constant battle when deciding how to handle school days.
This year, the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is changing the ways they process snow days. Normally, for everyday school is closed, a day is added onto the end of the school year. School officials declared that this year is a year for change. In order to prevent the year from extending far into June, they are allowing two days to be added to the end of the year. Freshman, Noah Stewart, said he is “...extremely thrilled that he will get to get out of school early enough to attend his family vacation the last week of June.” Not only will less days added to end of year help students like Stewart, but they will allow more opportunities for others to branch out and be active on their day off. If more days are closed, days students normally have off, such as Presidents' Day, will be made a school day. If numerous days must be closed due to weather conditions, spring break has a possibility of becoming a school week. Most students have already planned family vacations during this week so many complications have the possibility to arise. If all goes well, the weather will cooperate and students will be able to keep their days off while not extending school into the 2018 summer.
Some may ask what weather conditions declare it unsafe to go to school? Between 3:00-4:30am, supervisors review national forecasts and conduct on-road observations. After further assessments, directors discuss their findings and form a plan of either having school, a delay, early dismissal, or no school at all. Before the clock strikes five in the morning, the county superintendent is contacted with an overview of information and makes the official call, informing all families and staff in the designated area.
Do you want to be informed of the emergency closings? Text the word “YES” to 67587 to (HCPSS connect system) in order to be texted any updates the second a decision is made. Other options include checking school homepages, tuning into the news, and/or following the school Twitter and Facebook page.