Public schools in Harford County opened on time Thursday morning in spite of snow. Neighboring Baltimore County schools opened two hours late, as did schools in a few other jurisdictions further south.
While some areas in Baltimore saw two inches of snow, Harford County only saw a light dusting, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a winter weather advisory until 11 a.m. Thursday for the Baltimore-Washington region.
Each time there is inclement weather, Harford County Schools follow a specific process to determine what to do.
The school system put together a video on how it makes decisions about weather, which Patch has posted above and detailed below.
- As soon as a severe weather forecast becomes apparent, school officials monitor weather reports.
- At 3:30 a.m. on the day of a projected inclement weather event, the on-call transportation supervisor confers with the Harford County Sheriff's Office to get a read on the road situation, with input from the Department of Public Works.
- Transportation supervisors go on "snow patrol," inspecting sidewalks and roads along bus routes.
- By 4 a.m. the chief of communications, chief of administration and director of transportation are briefed. The chief of administration and superintendent make a decision about whether to open on time, on a delayed schedule or not at all.
- At 5 a.m. the school system makes automated calls to staff and local media. By 5:15 a.m. the Harford County Schools website is updated. Calls to parents begin at 5:45 a.m.
Harford County school officials emphasized that the safety of students and staff is paramount.
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