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The days are shorter. The weather is colder. It’s officially the time of year when snow and ice can cause Frederick County Public Schools to close, delay opening or dismiss early.
Here’s what you can expect when snow and ice arrive:
Snow Day or Virtual Day?
Frederick County Public Schools has three inclement weather days remaining built into the 2021-22 school year. If inclement weather prompts FCPS to close, it will be a traditional snow day and a virtual option will not be used.
While FCPS utilized virtual learning during the early stages of the global health crisis, this year we will work toward instituting systemwide virtual learning and evaluate the viability of a virtual option for inclement weather days if all available inclement weather days are used.
How does FCPS decide whether to close or delay schools?
The top priority for FCPS is the safety of students and staff. When inclement weather is in the forecast, FCPS relies on weather forecasts from meteorologists. Sometimes, it is obvious inclement weather will affect our community. In those situations, FCPS may choose to announce a closure or delay the night before.
Alas, mid-Atlantic winter weather can often be unpredictable, which means decisions must be made early in the morning. FCPS Transportation Office employees will travel on roads throughout the county and assess school parking lot conditions.
Based on the available information her team collects, Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban makes the final decision on inclement weather closures and delays. FCPS strives to make this decision before 5 a.m.
How can the community find out about inclement weather decisions?
The FCPS Office of Public Affairs swiftly communicates inclement weather decisions as soon as they are made using a variety of communications tools:
Local and regional media are also alerted.
What are the fastest ways to find out about inclement weather closures?
Our FCPS Maryland social media channels are usually the first to have updates about closures and delays. FCPS.org and FCPS Cable Channel 18 are also quickly updated. It can take up to 30 minutes for FCPS to alert our media partners and for a FindOutFirst message to get published.
We encourage families to sign up for text message alerts via Find Out First. Text messages are only sent in case of an emergency or in case of inclement weather closure or delay notifications. To sign up for text messages, visit www.fcps.org/fof, log in, and add a cell phone number in the profile. Text messages are distributed faster than email messages.