Baltimore City Public Schools is one of the only systems in the area that is not modifying its schedule Thursday to deal with the of snow, sleet and freezing rain accumulating on local roads and sidewalks.
Schools remained open until their normal closing time, prompting a stern response of frustration and disappointment from the city's teacher's union.
Baltimore Teacher's Union President Marietta English released a statement bemoaning the potential peril students and teachers will encounter by being kept in school for the full day as the weather continues to get worse.
“Baltimore City Public School’s decision not to close schools early today is quite distressing. Snow and ice are covering the roads making the commute our teachers, paraprofessionals and students must travel extremely dangerous. Additionally, our students who walk to and from school will have to contend with traveling on icy sidewalks to get home.
In a letter sent to parents, BCPS explained that they have various departments, “check roads and outside conditions as well as monitor weather forecasts” in order to make a final decision about whether or not to close schools. Today’s storm quickly transitioned from sleet and ice to snow by 8am giving Baltimore City Schools ample time to have their various departments assess the situation and make the decision to close schools early in order to ensure that all teachers, paraprofessionals and students would be able to get home safely.
While we want students to be in school, it is important that safety is a major consideration. If the safety of Baltimore City teachers, paraprofessionals and students is of utmost importance, than the District must think and act logically, especially on days when inclement weather is imminent.”
City school officials sent a letter to parents saying it's always a difficult decision to close school and safety is the number one priority. They said the school system evaluates weather conditions often and decided to operate normally.
School officials also went on to say that if parents feel conditions are too dangerous, they can always keep their children home from school.
A note about today's schedule and decision-making about snow days. For more information about our notification and decision-making procedures, please visit https://t.co/bjZpwICFdK pic.twitter.com/bOVw5hJhKK
— Baltimore Schools (@BaltCitySchools) November 15, 2018