Snow Business!

January 30, 2002

Snow Business!

There's nothing like dragging your sleepy self out of bed on a Monday morning, glancing out the window and seeing snow.

Snow. Is it possible? Is it a ... SNOW DAY?????!!!!!!!!


You turn on the TV, the radio, check e-mail and call 301-733-3636, the Weatherline Forecast Service.

YES! you shout, victoriously punching the air.


There's been only one weather-related closing for Washington County Schools so far this year.

But do you remember the 1995-1996 school year? Schools were closed for 14 days because of the cold stuff.

Other years, schools have been closed for:

  • 1997-98 - four days
  • 1998-99 - six days
  • 1999-00 - seven days
  • 2000-01 - five days

In Maryland, students must attend school 180 days. Miss too many days for snow, make 'em up in June, after the tentatively scheduled last day of Tuesday, June 4. There are seven snow days built into the calendar.


How is the decision made to delay or close school?

"It comes down to student safety. That's the bottom line," says Carol Mowen, the school board's public information officer.

By 5 a.m., Chris Carter, director of transportation, and his crew are out on the roads all over the county checking conditions. They also are in contact with neighboring communities. Carter makes the call, calls the superintendent and assistant superintendent, Mowen says. Then she gets called, and she and her assistant Joanie Langley call more than 25 television and radio stations so that a delay or closing can be announced. Their goal is to have all the calls made before 6 a.m.

So you can jump back into bed and go back to sleep.

To be informed by e-mail of updates of school delays, cancellations and closings in the Washington County Public School System, go to and click I WANT E-MAIL.

Typing in your e-mail address will put you on the mailing list.

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