An Important Message from Harford County Public Schools LEARN MORE

Home - Harford County Public Schools

2020-2021 Inclement Weather Information
Inclement Weather Information

The implementation of virtual instruction has changed the way Harford County Public Schools will manage inclement weather days. In prior years, inclement weather delays and closings have resulted in scheduling challenges and instructional disruption for students, staff and families, as well as unpredictability about when the school year will end. 

For the 2020-2021 school year, HCPS will maintain virtual instruction during inclement weather days. This will allow the school system to decide earlier when inclement weather is expected and provide families with earlier notice so they may make necessary adjustments. The Maryland State Department of Education has approved the inclusion of virtual instruction days among the 180 minimum required academic days each school year, so these days will not have to be made up at the end of the school year. 

Click here for a brief video overview.

On inclement weather days that virtual instruction is implemented, the same virtual schedule will be implemented that has been in place for the 2020-2021 school year. Students will be expected to log in to each of their classes and attendance will be recorded. To provide consistency and remain aligned to current virtual instruction schedules, instruction will be synchronous on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and asynchronous on Friday. 

It is important to note that the primary purpose for closing schools is for safety. Canceling all instruction on inclement weather days would require make-up days to be used in the summer. By being able to use virtual instruction during inclement weather days, HCPS will be able to follow the academic calendar as scheduled. This will allow staff better flexibility to implement summer interventions without disruption for students requiring the additional academic support.

2020-2021 Inclement Weather Options: 

Virtual Instruction; Buildings Open 
This option will include minor weather events that are deemed not significant enough to close the building for staff. This option allows HCPS to make the decision and provide notification to families and staff much earlier without having to make up a day of instruction at the end of the school year. 
Instruction: Virtual for all students 
Buildings: Open for staff; staff receive additional instruction from your supervisor 

Virtual Instruction; Buildings Closed 
This option will include weather events that may have closed school in years past. Like the Virtual Instruction; Buildings Open option, all instruction will be delivered virtually. 
Instruction: Virtual for all students 
Buildings: Closed; staff receive additional instruction from your supervisor 

No Instruction; Buildings Closed 
This option mirrors a typical inclement weather day when schools and offices are closed. This decision may be implemented at times of widespread internet or power outages when virtual instruction is not feasible. These days would potentially need to be made up at the end of the school year. 
Instruction: Canceled  
Buildings: Closed; staff receive additional instruction from your supervisor 

Early Dismissal 
This option would be implemented when an unexpected weather event occurs while students may be in school buildings (North Harford Connectivity Hub). During an early closing, instruction would end 3 hours early for all students, including those learning virtually. 
Instruction: Virtual and Connectivity Hub at North Harford ends 3 hours early 
Buildings: Closed early for staff; staff receive additional instruction from your supervisor 

HCPS will communicate any operational changes, including if the meal kit pick-up sites will be impacted, via: 
  • Phone call 
  • Text message 
  • Email 
  • HCPS social media pages 
  • Local media outlets 

When an inclement weather event is anticipated, HCPS 12-month staff should follow the instruction of their supervisor. When a specific report time is available, it will be provided to those staff members.