Winter Weather: A Refresher on Snow Closure Notifications from Wyngate ES

Snow Closings – Please Read Carefully

During a snow event, the school office can become inundated with telephone calls asking if we are closing early. When this happens, we have often been tempted to keep a tally of calls, and we actually did it during a snow storm last January – we received 63 snow-related telephone calls, which comprised approximately 15 percent of all Wyngate families! While we realize that parents make these calls to be sure they have the correct information, we must ask you to PLEASE AVOID CALLING THE SCHOOL UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! Our office is a busy place under normal circumstances, but when the weather turns bad and parents begin to call as soon as the first flakes start to fall, simply answering the phone calls becomes a full-time job.

Please adhere to the following Weather Procedures in the event of weather related emergencies:

  • If schools will be closed, or if there will be a delayed opening because of snow or ice, the decision will be made by 6 am. Announcements are made on area radio and television stations, the MCPS station (which might be channel 6, 60, or 34 depending on your television service), on the web at www.mcps.md.us and on a taped message at (301) 279-3673. If the decision is reconsidered for any reason, announcement of any change will be made by 7 am, so please be sure to double check.
  • If it begins to snow during the day and you suspect school may be closing early, please refer to the same sources listed above. If schools will be closing early, the decision will be announced by 11 am. If no such announcement is made, then school will remain in session until normal closing time.
  • The reason for this is related to bus transportation. In order for busses to be at elementary schools for a 1:00 dismissal (two hours early), they must first complete their high school and middle school runs, which begin a little after 11:00. Thus, if the early dismissal process is not set into motion by 11 am, elementary schools will not have transportation available for a 1:00 dismissal. So again, if no early closing announcement is made by 11 am, schools will remain in session until normal closing time.

We do realize that sometimes a phone call to the school is necessary, and we certainly do not intend to discourage emergency calls. Additionally, new families, and parents of our kindergarteners, who may not have been through this procedure before, may have questions that they need to ask. But in order for us to answer those calls and allow us to relay emergency messages to students, we urge you to call only when the prescribed procedures are inadequate or unclear.

We appreciate you cooperation!

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