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.