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Washington County Public Schools closing policy

December 17, 2007

When Washington County Public Schools officials decide to close schools or alter schedules for inclement weather or other reasons, those changes are communicated in a number of ways, according to a school system press release.

In the case of a closure or delayed opening, local and regional media will be notified; messages will be posted on Antietam Cable Channel 99 and on the school system's Web site, www.wcboe.k12.md.us.

An e-mail also will be sent to those individuals who have registered to receive delays/closings e-mails from the school system, according to the release. To sign up, go to the Web site and click on "Sign up for e-mail updates," a link from delays/closings on the Web site home page.

A telephone alert system will be used in situations involving early dismissals, but will not be used when early morning decisions are made to close schools or delay the start of the school day, according to the press release.

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When inclement weather is present or forecast, the supervisor of transportation and transportation department staff travel designated routes that are representative of some of the critical areas for safe school bus travel throughout the county, according to the release. At the same time, the supervisor remains in communication with the county roads department, the state highway administration and school transportation supervisors in surrounding counties in order to update conditions. With local information and satellite weather information, the supervisor contacts the superintendent of schools with a recommendation for changes in school status, if necessary.

Final determination is normally made prior to 5:30 a.m. with media notification and posting of information prior to 6 a.m., according to the release.

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