MSDE Approves Application for Virtual Instruction on 3 Inclement Weather Days LEARN MORE

Home - Harford County Public Schools

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
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

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 2022-2023 school year. Click here to view the approved plan.

HCPS presented the proposed plan at the October 24 and November 14, 2022 Board of Education meetings. The Board of Education of Harford County approved the proposal to use three (3) asynchronous days in the event of inclement weather during the 2022-2023 school year. This will allow asynchronous virtual instruction on three (3) of the six (6) designated inclement weather make-up days. This will result in the final possible day of instruction (with three (3) “traditional” inclement weather days) being Tuesday, June 20, 2022. Currently, with six (6) “traditional” inclement weather days built into the calendar, the final instructional day is scheduled for Friday, June 23, 2022.

This plan will go into effect after the "practice" session scheduled for the evening of January 9, 2023. Check this page regularly for more updates.
MSDE Virtual Day Instruction Plan Application Elements
Devices and Access to Wi-Fi
  • Every HCPS student has been issued an iPad, Chromebook, or Windows device.
    • In addition, mobile hot spots available if required.
Accomodations
  • Asynchronous virtual lessons aligned with goals and objectives in a student’s IEP.
Communication
  • In the event of utilizing an asynchronous option on an inclement weather day:
    • Mass communication system phone call, email, and text message
    • Posted on hcps.org
    • Shared on HCPS social media accounts
    • Information provided to media partners
    • Inclement weather webpage created with logistics
Attendance
  • Students will initially be marked “present” in Teacher Access Center.
  • Teachers will update the attendance information for any student that does not complete the virtual assignments in the 3-day window.
Additional Factors
  • Students will be provided 3 days from the day that is designated as a virtual instruction day to complete assignments.

Parents/Guardians
Students
Staff