Feb 12, 2010

A Message from Sydney L. Cousins, Superintendent Howard County Schools

To all HCPSS families,
I hope you have recovered from shoveling and are enjoying the unscheduled winter break. I imagine that after this week you are wondering about the status of our schools. All schools will be closed for school and community activities this weekend and Monday. At this point we are planning to open schools on Tuesday, February 16. Of course, this is dependent upon Mother Nature’s cooperation.

We are monitoring the conditions around the county daily and we are concerned about the safety of our students who walk to school and those who must wait on bus stops that may be piled with snow. We all need to pitch in if we are to open schools safely next week. You can help by shoveling sidewalks and providing a safe area off the street where students can wait for their buses.

We have been receiving questions about how we intend to make up the school days we have missed this week. That decision has not been made yet but due to a number of considerations we will not be using President’s Day as a makeup day. Our schools have not been open for over a week and we will use the next four days to make sure they are in good condition to open on Tuesday.

Also, it is very possible that the State Superintendent will provide a waiver for some of the days we have missed. Since spring is several weeks away it is also possible that we may need to close schools for additional days. We will inform you as soon as a decision is made about makeup days and related schedules so you may plan accordingly.

Finally, I want to express appreciation to our grounds employees who have supported the efforts of county road crews in clearing roads and streets. This has been their first priority. When this work is completed, county crews will join our grounds crews to clear school parking lots. These employees are also to be commended for providing transportation for snowbound hospital employees and persons needing medical treatment during the past several days.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We look forward to welcoming our staff and students back to school on Tuesday.


Sydney L. Cousin

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