Inclement Weather and School Closings, Delays and Early Dismissals
Snow, ice or other weather emergencies can create a situation that makes it unsafe for students, parents and staff to travel to and from school. Also, because many of City Schools' buildings lack air-conditioning, extreme heat can at times cause health concerns, especially for those with asthma or other respiratory problems.
How to Find Out If Schools and Offices Are Closed
- This website. Notifications of closings and delayed openings will be posted to the homepage as early as possible—usually no later than 6 a.m. Early dismissals are posted as soon as the decision to close schools is made.
- School websites. Announcements are posted to website homepages of all affected schools as early as possible—usually no later than 6 a.m. for full-day closings and delayed openings and, for early dismissals, as soon as possible after a decision to close is made.
- Local television and radio stations. The local Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC stations, along with local radio stations, will broadcast school schedule changes as early as possible—usually beginning shortly after 6 a.m. and running till 10 a.m. for full-day closings and delayed openings and as quickly as possible for early dismissals.
- Twitter. Follow @BaltCitySchools on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and announcements. Closings and delayed openings are usually announced by 6 a.m., and early dismissals are announced immediately when the closing decision is made.
- The Baltimore Sun's school closing database. District office staff ensure that the database is up to date as quickly as possible.
How Decisions Are Made
- Well before daybreak, staff from City Schools' Department of Facilities assesses road conditions, neighborhood sidewalks, school parking lots and school walkways, and also obtains input from the Baltimore City Department of Transportation and the Maryland Mass Transit Administration.
- City Schools' CEO reviews the assessment and the most current weather forecasts available, and makes the decision whether to open schools on schedule, delay opening of schools for two hours or close schools. The CEO also determines whether conditions are sufficiently severe to warrant a closing or delayed opening of district offices that do not serve students directly (e.g., the district office building at 200 E. North Ave.).
- Schools and offices remain open if, based on the condition assessments and weather forecasts, it is determined that students and staff can travel safely to their City Schools' destinations.
Special Notes about Delayed Openings and Early Dismissals
- Schools may open two hours late when travel conditions at 5 a.m. are deemed to be potentially unsafe but are expected to improve.
- When travel conditions are safe at 5 a.m. but are forecast to deteriorate, an initial announcement of a two-hour delayed opening may be made. In this case, depending on how the weather develops, there may be a subsequent decision to close schools. If you learn of a delayed opening, please check this and school websites, Twitter or local media right before beginning your trip to school, to make sure there has been no further change in schedule.
- A delayed opening means that all morning half-day early learning programs are canceled and school breakfast will not be served.
- When schools open as schedule and weather subsequently deteriorates (or, in summer, if the temperature exceeds 85 degrees by 9 a.m.), schools may close early—usually 2.5 hours ahead of the regularly scheduled dismissal time. Announcements are made via websites, Twitter and local media as soon as transportation can be arranged for students who travel on City Schools-provided buses.
- When schools close early, afternoon early learning programs, extended-day and after-school programs and all interscholastic athletic events are canceled, but lunch is served in all schools.