Howard County First Day of School Canceled

A total of 27 schools didn’t have power Sunday night.

More than 50,000 students will miss their scheduled first day of school Monday, as Howard County Schools will be closed due to power outages, officials say.

“We have 27 schools without power,” said spokeswoman Patti Caplan in an email. “We also want to give county crews time to clear downed trees to make sure that roads and sidewalks are safe.”

There are 73 schools total in the district. The school system had hired 268 new teachers to begin the school year with all classroom vacancies filled.

On Monday, all evening activities in schools, both school-sponsored and community-sponsored, are canceled. This includes high school athletic practices and games.

Across the region, Baltimore county schools are also closed Monday, as are Harford and Anne Arundel county schools.

On Friday, Howard County officials began debating whether to cancel the first day, as reports of Hurricane Irene hitting the region rolled in, but decided to hold off on making a final decision until Sunday night.

They announced the decision after 6 p.m. Sunday.           

Howard County students were among those who were in the school the latest in the Baltimore-Washington region this year due to four snow days over the winter.

Howard County students were in school until June 22.

Kris Hammill August 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM
My girls are happy to have an extra day off, I am not. I was looking forward to some kid-free time. Plus will this day be added on to the end of the year? Not a good way to kick-off the school year.
Mike Radinsky August 29, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Like many others in the county, we had no power until late last night. If the power had not been restored, this morning many kids would have been faced with no showers, dressing by flashlight in the early morning darkness, limited breakfast, etc, all after a restless night with no a/c. Minor inconveniences, perhaps, but only to those looking forward to "kid-free time" in a well lit air-conditioned house.
Daneen Hatcher August 29, 2011 at 05:15 PM
My teenage children are happy for the extra day off. I am happy as well, I enjoy having them home much less stressful. Besides school starts too early should wait unitl the Wednesday after labor day.
J.Holmes August 29, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Excellent point, Mike. Perhaps those who are looking for kid free time should have consider that before having children. School is not baby sitting. This is about public safety. Not having intersections that are working properly, not having kids who have lights in their own home and not to mention teachers who are without power is bigger concern. I'm sorry that some cannot see the right of others befor their own.
Jack Sampson August 29, 2011 at 06:51 PM
Jack Sampson August 29, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Anyway, for Mike and J., I assume you are a stay at home Dad (Mike) or a stay at home Dad or Mom (J.) with perfect kids that never give you any trouble whatsoever. For the rest of those in the real world with younger kids that aren't always saints, it doesn't mean someone shouldn't have kids just because they're looking forward to not having them in the house for a while. Personally I wish we lived in a county where some schools closed and other didn't depending upon area circumstances, but given the way HoCo schools work, I agree that they should be closed today. That doesn't mean I need to insult those that don't. (And, no, I'm not a stay at home Dad, but my Mom was and I would have wanted me out of the house, too).
Mike August 29, 2011 at 07:36 PM
I totally agree Mike. I guess we should be very thankful it this massive hurricane wasn't as bad in Howard County as was forcasted. We should be glad we're not in Vermont where it may take weeks to restore the power to everyone - not just days like here. The fact is the schools will reopen when it's deemed safe for everyone to do so.
J.Holmes August 29, 2011 at 10:16 PM
No, I'm a working parent. I'm sorry you don't think your kids are saints. And for those who can't control their own kids, that's a shame too. I guess this is why we have the nanny state for those parents who need others to raise their children. Schools are not there to raise your kids. You need to parent, regardless. Schools, teachers are not there to raise your children - working, or not. It's your job to raise your children. So I guess everyone is happy that schools are open so that the government can start raising your kids again, right Jack?
Jack Sampson August 29, 2011 at 10:45 PM
Seriously, anyone who thinks their kids are saints are in for a rude awakening. My children are normally active youngsters that can wear out adults just as much as the next kid. And it would be lie to say that if I was home with them all day, that I wouldn't welcome the opportunity for a break. I simply find it hard to believe that you wouldn't, too. That is simply what Kris was stating above and what many parents I am sure are feeling. I 100% agree it is my responsibility to raise my children. How recognizing that summers can wear out a stay-at-home parent turns me endorsing a nanny state and having the government raise my kids is quite a stretch.
Toni Lubbehusen August 30, 2011 at 02:51 AM
The bottom line, as mentioned above, is that the school closing decisions are based on keeping the kids safe. Obviously, most schools could not be open today because they were either w/o power or most of the surrounding neighborhood was - HoCoade a smart decision, regardless of any inconvenience to parents. I will feel sorry for any kids (or teachers) who have to go to school tomorrow if they don't have power at home - it will be difficult for them.
Amanda Huggins August 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Thanks Toni for bringing the conversation back to the main focus: the kids. Kris' original post seemed to bemoan the fact that her inconvenience at not having time to herself, trumped the inconvenience of kids in homes without hot water, refrigeration, lights and air conditioning. I'm hopeful that upon further reflection she would reconsider her statement, perhaps it was written in haste.
Angela S August 30, 2011 at 12:45 PM
I think everyone is being a little too hard on Kris and reading too much into her statements. All she said was she wasn't happy that school were closed, not that she disagreed with the decision to close school. And there is nothing wrong with statement that you are looking forward to a little kid free time. Every parent needs some time to themselves to refresh and rejuvenate his or herself. That way when they are with their kids they can give them their undivided attention and truly enjoy and cherish the time they have with them.


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