This story was updated at 12:26 p.m. Jan.17.
Montgomery County Public Schools are closed on Wednesday, according to a district press release.
An earlier press release said the school district planned to operate on a two-hour delay. However, the school system instead decided to close based on unsafe road conditions.
Day-care programs in school buildings may remain open as scheduled, according to a press release. Administrative offices opened on time.
MCPS spokesman Derek Turner said school officials initially thought a delay might suffice because it looked like the snow was tapering off. However, they determined that icy road conditions in some parts of the county would make it unsafe for students to travel.
“On some of the roads that were treated, the ice just remained, and some of the side streets didn’t end up getting treated,” he said. “We sent out our road crews to check out the roads, and it just didn’t look good.”
Superintendent Jack Smith wrote a message to the community to explain the decision. Typically, weather closures are decided by 5 a.m. the day of. Sometimes, the school system will announce a two-hour delay while officials monitor conditions, Smith wrote. Usually, any updates are announced by 7 a.m.
MCPS didn’t send out its closure decision on Wednesday until about 7:15 a.m.
“As we continued to assess the situation, there was no indication that additional treatment would improve road conditions before school buses, student drivers, and students walking to schools and bus stops would be on the roads. As a result, we made the difficult decision to close schools for student safety,” Smith wrote. “We know the importance of making an announcement for school closure as early as possible, and I regret that today we were not able to make this decision earlier.”
Turner said the school system will soon announce the instructional make-up dates for recent weather-related closures.