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Inclement Weather and School Closings

All Schools Operating on Normal Posted Schedule

*All Alerts will be displayed on this page, and at the top of the home page of HCPS.org

Virtual Inclement Weather Days

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), has approved Harford County Public Schools’ proposed plan for virtual inclement weather days during the 2023-2024 school year.

HCPS presented the proposed plan at the December 18, 2023 and January 8, 2024 Board of Education meetings. The Board of Education of Harford County approved the proposal to use up to three (3) asynchronous days in the event of inclement weather during the 2023-2024 school year. This will allow asynchronous virtual instruction on our remaining inclement weather make-up days.

MSDE Virtual Day Instruction Plan Application Elements

  • There will be no more than three asynchronous virtual days.
  • Every HCPS student has been issued an iPad, Chromebook, or Windows device.
  • Attendance will be taken for all students. Initially, all students will be marked as 'present.' Teachers will update attendance information for any student that does not complete the virtual assignments in the 10-day window.
Assignments
  • Students will be provided 10 days from the day that is designated as a virtual instruction day to complete assignments.
  • Assignments will be posted through CANVAS.
  • Pre-kindergarten will have backpacks sent home with inclement weather day activities. Students in primary grades may also have physical learning tools sent home at the discretion of the principal.
  • If needed, virtual lessons may be aligned with goals and objectives in a student's IEP.
  • Virtual days will not negatively impact grades. There will be meaningful options for make-up work outside of virtual learning.
Communication
  • In the event of utilizing an asynchronous option on an inclement weather day:
    • Mass Notification system phone call, email, and text message.
    • Posted on hcps.org.
    • Shared on HCPS social media accounts.
    • Shared via push notification through HCPS app.
    • Information provided to media partners.
    • Inclement weather webpage created with logistics.
    • Learning opportunities will be open on Canvas.
For easy reference for our entire community, when the school system is utilizing a virtual instruction day, the following graphic will be shared on social media.
Virtual Inclement Weather Day Graphic

Parents/Guardians
Students
Staff

Inclement Weather Policy

All public schools in Harford County will be closed on days when roads, school parking lots and/or school driveways/walkways are considered unsafe for school bus transportation or student/staff use. The decision to close is made by the superintendent of schools as early as possible. If a closure or delay is necessary on the day of an inclement weather event, efforts will be made to distribute that information by 5:00 a.m. The determination is made after consulting with the state police, the HCPS transportation office, the sheriff’s office, the state and county highway departments and other sources of information in different parts of the county.

Some weather conditions make it advisable to delay the opening time of schools. In such situations, the delayed prekindergarten plan will be in effect for half day programs

  • If schools are delayed one hour, morning half-day prekindergarten will start at 10:00 a.m.: afternoon half-day prekindergarten will proceed as originally scheduled; and fourth tier schools will begin at 10:30 a.m. Full day kindergarten programs will follow the school system schedule.
  • If schools are delayed two hours, there will be no morning half-day prekindergarten or early intervention programs; afternoon half-day prekindergarten will proceed as originally scheduled; and fourth tier schools will begin at 11:30 a.m. Full day prekindergarten programs will follow the school system schedule.
  • If schools have a scheduled teachers’ planning/early dismissal and there is a two-hour delay, students will NOT be dismissed early but remain in school for the regular school day.

Any change from the normal school schedule as a result of inclement weather will be communicated through our rapid telephone notification system, email, text message, Facebook, Twitter and provided to radio and television stations for broadcast. In addition, changes to the normal schedule will be listed on the HCPS website at www.hcps.org. Please note, we cannot control when the media posts inclement weather updates.

Parents/Guardians always have the right to not send their children to school if they feel travel conditions are unsafe. The student will be marked as lawfully absent.

Announcements will only be made when there is an unscheduled change to the schools operating schedule. No telephone calls or media announcements will be made when schools are operating on a normal schedule. In order to keep school telephone lines open for emergency calls, parents/guardians are urged not to call the school concerning closings or delays. This information will be reported as soon as possible using the communication vehicles listed above.

Normal School Hours of Operation
How to Get Notified About School Closings