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Cascade school seeks special weather designation

January 21, 1998

Cascade school seeks special weather designation

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

CASCADE - Washington County Board of Education officials have proposed a special weather zone designation for Cascade that would allow the elementary school to delay the start of classes during wintry weather.

The proposal for the Cascade mountain zone came after parents asked school officials to re-examine the way they determine whether roads are safe enough for school buses in the winter.

Parents asked officials to review the situation after a bus carrying Cascade Elementary School students slid on Ritchie Road on Dec. 22.

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Parents has suggested that school board officials set up a separate snow plan for Cascade because winter weather in the mountainous community is often more severe than in the rest of the county.

Under the Cascade mountain zone proposal, Cascade Elementary officials would be allowed to delay classes for an hour or two during bad weather, according to Principal Johnetta Neal.

Smithsburg High School students and Smithsburg Middle School students who live in the Cascade area also would have delayed classes at their schools, said Chris Carter, director of transportation for Washington County schools.

Carter's plan must be approved by the school board, Neal said.

One of the issues the board will have to consider is whether the plan would affect the minimum amount of time students have to spend in class, Neal said.

But parent Ken Stotler said classes probably would be delayed only a few times a year.

Stotler said parents seem to be satisfied with the plan.

"This is something we've been after for years," Stotler said.

Frederick County schools have had a similar weather zone in place for Sabillasville and Thurmont elementary schools, which are located just across the county line, Neal said.

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