TCPS sends notification of closing or delay via email and phone call through our notification system. We also notify 9 local and regional TV and radio stations about systemwide school closings and delays. It is not possible to guarantee that the news media will announce this information promptly or accurately. For the fastest, most reliable information, check the following:
Email: via School Messenger (please make sure your email address is up-to-date in PowerSchool)
Follow TCPS on Twitter! and Facebook
Plan Back-up Care:For safety reasons, prearrange emergency back-up care for your child in the event that schools close unexpectedly.
How Closing and Delay Decisions are Made
How Talbot County Public Schools Decides to Cancel or Delay School During Bad Weather
Closing or delaying schools is a serious responsibility. A change in a school schedule can create inconveniences and difficulties for many families. Talbot County Public Schools is committed to making the best and most informed decisions we can and also communicating decisions as quickly and reliably as we can.
We evaluate many factors and sources of information as we work to make the most responsible decisions for our students and employees. Our main focus is always the safety of our students and employees.
Here is the process we follow to decide on weather delays and closings:
Our Transportation Department receives regular updates from several sources including weather forecasts from the Mount Holly, NJ and local 911 weather services the night before, in the morning, as well as during the day, to stay ahead of developing weather. We also talk to neighboring school districts about the conditions they are seeing.
On mornings when we have bad weather, Transportation employees fan out throughout the county by 4 a.m. to assess roads and sidewalks. At the same time, we contact county and state highway departments to hear their plans to clear roads.
Easton airport is contacted regarding visibility and eight spotters from various locations in the county call the Transportation Department to report on conditions in their area. (Note: All standardized reflective markers are set at 750 feet from the spotter’s viewpoint.)
County Emergency Management and County and State Roads are contacted for road and weather conditions.
Maryland State Police, Talbot County Sheriff’s Department and Easton Police Department are contacted for road conditions and snow emergency phases.
The Superintendent evaluates all this information. The Superintendent decides – by 5 a.m. – if and when we can safely open schools and transport students.
This decision is communicated through an auto dialer to parents and staff. The announcement is also conveyed via email, twitter and posted on talbotschools.org. Phone calls are also made to regional radio and television stations with the announcement, as well as the County Emergency Management Agency.
These decisions are made carefully and student safety is our number one concern in making the best decisions with the information available at the time.
Snow Contingency Plan
Snow Contingency Plan
The Talbot County Public Schools Transportation Department has developed a Snow Contingency Plan. In addition to routes that would follow State roads, bulk student pick up location have been identified for students living on roads that may not be accessible to buses, based on weather conditions. Locations have been identified that would provide a safe area from which to pick up and drop off students. This concept would provide parents with the choice to drive their child to the location that is most convenient and safe for them to meet a bus for transportation to and from school.
While we hope that we do not have a repeat of the weather conditions we experienced last winter, this plan provides an alternative that could reduce the number of day’s school may need to be closed. The expectation is that this plan would be utilized on an exception basis, but it is important to have an alternative plan developed as an option.
Contacts have been made with appropriate personnel at all of the newly designated alternative stop locations and they have agreed to the utilization of their site for this purpose. These sites are for parents to drop off and pick up. It would not be appropriate for students to leave their vehicle at the site and ride the bus to schools. Students may only be picked up and dropped off.
Below are the maps with the bulk student pick up locations. Bus routes with detail of locations and state roads are also included. You may choose to meet the bus along the state roads indicated on your regular bus route or meet the bus at one of the bulk pick up/drop off locations. If this plan is implemented, it will be identified as the Snow Alternative Stop Plan. Routes within the Town of Easton will utilize normal pick up and drop off locations. Again, while the plan would only be used on a limited basis, it is important that we communicate now to prepare for possible use.
Families concerned about a child’s safety due to hazardous weather conditions have the right to keep the child home. The student absence would be considered a lawful and excused absence if the parent submits a note regarding weather concerns. Students would be allowed two days to make up work.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Transportation Department at: 410 822-9535.
When school opens 90 minutes late, pre-k sessions will take place. Morning classes start 90 minutes late with the rest of the grades at the school and dismiss at the times indicated below. Breakfast is served. See the schedule below for specific start and dismissal times. When school opens 2 hours late, morning pre-k students will not attend.
Early Dismissal: When schools close 2 hours early due to bad weather, morning pre-k students remain at school for dismissal with full day students. Lunches are served. Afternoon pre-k programs are cancelled.