Use the radio or the television not the phone to learn of school closings

December 13, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

When snowflakes start accumulating along with the excitement that school might close, parents should reach for the dial -- the one on the radio, not the phone.

The television's OK, too, but please, not the phone, says James Doolan, supervisor of transportation for Carroll County schools.

"They tie up the phones -- we don't want parents calling the office or calling the schools at all," Mr. Doolan said.

The clogged lines and time spent answering the phones burden officials rushing to get the word on the air, he said.

The folks at WTTR-AM, 1470 on the dial, also ask that parents tune in instead of calling. Jeff Adams, who is on the air in the mornings, still gets a lot of calls from parents when the weather turns bad.

If school is closed, he'll say it on the air so everyone can hear, said Carolyn Brady, news director at the station.

"People do still call. A lot of times they call us before we know," Ms. Brady said.

Snow closings are always part of the news, which is every half hour.

And between newscasts, she said, Mr. Adams repeats the closings and meeting cancellations.

"Jeff just puts such an emphasis on letting people know," she said.

But sometimes the radio and TV stations can only tell people whether school is closed or whether there is a delay or early dismissal.

What does that mean for, say, an afternoon technology student, or the special education buses that take children between schools?

The Carroll County school system has released a more detailed policy for how specific programs are affected by emergency closings. Most of these are programs that take up only part of the day, or require students to ride a bus from one school to another.

Here is a list:

BAD WEATHER CLOSINGS

If schools are closed for the entire day because of inclement weather,

the announcement will be made no later than 6:45 a.m. through the following radio and television stations: WTTR and Cable Channels 3 and 21 (Westminster); WHVR-AM and WYCR-FM (Hanover, Pa.); WGET-AM and WGTY-FM (Gettysburg); WFMD and WZYQ (Frederick); WTHU (Thurmont); WBAL, WCAO, WMAR-TV, WPOC, WJZ-TV, WCBM, WVRT, WQSR, WERQ, WRBS, WMIX, WLIF, WNUV-TV and WGRX (Baltimore); WMAL, WTOP and WJLA-TV (Washington); and WCHR (Williamsport).

When schools are closed or there is early dismissal because of bad weather, Adult Evening Program classes will be canceled.

If weather conditions are such that the opening of schools might be delayed one hour or more, the notification will be made by the same hour and over the same stations.

Late opening will affect the kindergarten, Carroll County Career and Technology Center, PREP (preschool special education), EEEP (Extended Elementary Education Program) and Head Start Programs in the following ways:

* School opening delayed one hour:

1. Morning kindergarten, Career and Technology, PREP, EIK (Early Intervention Kindergarten), EEEP and Head Start programs shortened by one hour.

2. Afternoon kindergarten and Career and Technology programs a regular schedule.

3. BEST (Behavior Education Support Team) program at Francis Scott Key High School shortened by one hour.

* School opening delayed more than one hour:

1. Morning kindergarten, Career and Technology, PREP, EIK, EEEP and Head Start programs canceled.

2. Afternoon kindergarten and Career and Technology programs a regular schedule.

3. BEST students will remain in home schools until Career and Technology buses take the afternoon Career and Technology students to Westminster (about 10:45 a.m.).

When bad weather develops throughout the county while students are in school, schools may be closed early. The Board of Education will announce on the listed television stations that schools will dismiss one, two or three hours earlier than normal.

Early closing will affect the kindergarten and Career and Technology programs in the following ways:

* School closing one hour earlier than usual (decision by 12:15 p.m.):

1. Morning Career and Technology programs on a regular schedule.

2. Afternoon Career and Technology programs shortened by one hour.

3. Morning kindergarten and PREP programs on a regular schedule.

4 4. Afternoon kindergarten shortened by one hour.

5. EEEP and Head Start students at Elmer Wolfe Elementary (both programs) will leave by bus at 12:15 p.m.

6. EEEP and Head Start programs at Piney Ridge, Robert Moton, Taneytown, William Winchester and Westminster Elementary schools will be shortened by one-half hour.

7. BEST program students will be transported to the Carroll Springs School (formerly the Carroll County Education Center) at 1:15 p.m. (leaving Francis Scott Key High). Students will transfer special-needs buses serving the area where their home is located.

* School closing two hours earlier than usual (decision by 11:15 a.m.):

1. Morning Career and Technology programs on a regular schedule.

2. Afternoon Career and Technology programs will be canceled. Students will remain in home schools or be returned from the Career and Technology Center with morning students.

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