Opening of schools depends on secondary roads

January 11, 1996|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

Carroll County schools are closed for the fourth straight day this week, but the unexpected vacation could end soon, said Superintendent Brian Lockard.

"The problem continues to be secondary roads," Dr. Lockard said. If conditions permit, the superintendent said, he will call school for tomorrow. Parents should listen to the radio tonight and tomorrow morning.

He said county road crews have been working hard to get all bus routes cleared, but some back roads still have just one lane open.

"It's a real hazard, backing down a road in the snow," he said.

School maintenance staff are expected to have cleared snow off the parking lots and sidewalks at all school buildings by today, Dr. Lockard said. Custodial staff have been inside each building, and no problems such as power outages, broken pipes or collapsed roofs have been reported, he said.

The instructional staff is ready with a general plan to make up the lost time. As they did two years ago, the schools will extend the school day in the spring, instead of extending the year.

In 1994, Carroll schools started 20 minutes early and dismissed students 30 minutes late. Using that formula, it took seven extended days to make up each snow day.

Assistant Superintendent Gary Dunkleberger will meet with staff to decide how to add the time.

"With each [lost] day that we have to take, the options get narrower," Dr. Lockard said.

Meanwhile, other more immediate changes will take place: the Maryland Writing Test, which students must pass to graduate, was scheduled to be administered statewide this week. Dr. Lockard said students can be assured a reasonable plan for rescheduling that test as well as midterm exams will be implemented.

Dr. Lockard had to make his decision to close school Sunday from out of town, where he was snowbound at his daughter and son-in-law's home.

But the superintendent always makes school closing decisions based on the opinion of James Doolan, the school system's transportation supervisor. Also, Dr. Lockard was on the phone with Assistant Superintendent William Hyde and Vernon Smith, director of support services, both snowbound in their homes.

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