Montgomery County Public Schools make late decision to close

ROCKVILLE, MD(WUSA9) --In Montgomery County, students awoke to the thrill of a two-hour school delay, only to have that change to a full day off by 8:30am. That late decision to close may have caught some local families off guard.

MCPS had announced a two-hour delay at 4:30am. But the snow kept falling, so the decision was made four hours later to close schools altogether. (See MCPS statement below.)

"I was upset when they said it was just two hours because I thought there was enough snow to have school closed," said 7 year-old Eliza Bradtke. She got her wish, when MCPS decided to close.

"I'm having a lot of fun and I've been sledding," she said.

Thankfully, Eliza's father works from home. He joked about the sadness among the neighborhood children.

"The two hours was bad enough. That made them very sad, but then, the whole day, I just hope the tears don't freeze on her face while she's sledding," laughed Jim Bradtke.

For parents of school age children, making last-minute childcare plans can be a challenge.

"It can be a scramble when parents have to figure that out at the last minute," said Margaret Rosser, who works for a local school that follows MCPS snow days. So she saw it as a positive. "Exactly. Worked for me!"

"I telecommute, so it's having more company at home," said parent, Brad Hartnett.

Some parents took their telecommuting to a new extreme.

"First of all, we were prepared for a two-hour delay and then we got word that it was actually cancelled so here we are: sledding. The annual tradition," said Hartnett.

MCPS had planned on having schools superintendent Joshua Starr talk to the media this afternoon to discuss options for changing school start and ending times but that was cancelled—due to the weather.

MCPS released the following statement on late decision to close:

When we made the call about a two-hour delay, around 4:30 a.m., the snow had not started and the forecasts were still for 1-2 inches. We felt that a two-hour delay would be appropriate. As the morning went on, it became clear that the forecasts were inaccurate. We talked with the county, which said they needed more time and space to clear the roads. So we made the call to cancel school. It was later than we usually would make that call, but the circumstances drove the decision and we believe it was the right call.

Dana Tofig


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