Students Head To School on Two-Hour Weather Delay
Bethesda streets clear of snow; higher snowfall totals reported in Damascus
Updated 10:48 a.m. Tuesday: Montgomery County Public Schools opened on a two-hour delay Tuesday because of a light snow that fell across the region.
The school system made the announcement at about 5 a.m. and reaffirmed the decision at about 6:30 a.m. While there was no accumulation in the Bethesda area, the National Weather Service reports that Damascus got about a half-inch of snow.
MCPS spokesman Derek Turner said officials decided to delay classes because weather forecasts had predicted the storm would start at about 5 a.m. Turner said MCPS didn't want to put students, parents and buses out on the road until they knew how intense the snowfall would be.
"We always have to err on the side of student safety," he said.
Bus service was delayed by two hours, according to the email and text alert. Morning programs, including prekindergarten, half-day Head Start and other programs and field trips, were canceled. Other activities beginning earlier than 10:30 a.m. are also called off.
MCPS administrative offices opened on time, and day care programs in school buildings may remain open as scheduled.
Barry Alpher, a Bethesda parent, said the two-hour delay did throw off his schedule a bit. Though there was no snow in sight around his daughter's bus stop, Alpher said he understands that MCPS has to consider the entire county.
"It's always what is going on in Clarksburg or Boyds that decides things," said Alpher, whose sixth-grade daughter, Naomi Leibowitz, attends Westland Middle School.
Naomi's friend, Mia Cary, said she was happy about the weather delay, even though she didn't see the reason for it.
"It's fun, but there's like no snow at all," said Mia, who's also a sixth-grader at Westland Middle.