In times of emergencies/school closings, information will be shared with the community through the following:
If Howard County public schools open two hours late, there is no morning, half-day prekindergarten/RECC.
Please note: The HCPSS does not use schools-out.com or e-schoolnews.com for any notifications.
How to Receive Text Messages
To comply with wireless carrier requirements, parents/guardians and community members must opt into receiving HCPSS text message alerts. Standard data fees and text messaging rates may apply based on your mobile plan. If you are unsure if you have already opted in, text the word “YES” to 67587 from the cell phone number on file in HCPSS Connect.
For community members without students in the school system, text the word “YES” to 67587 from the cell phone number that you signed up with.
Please contact your child’s school if you have questions regarding your information in HCPSS Connect.
Emergency and Weather-Related School Closing Details
If it is necessary for the superintendent to close or delay the start of schools due to inclement weather or other emergencies, parents may obtain information from the sources listed above.
If schools are closed, or closed early due to weather conditions, all after-school and evening activities, both school and non-school, scheduled in school facilities are canceled.
If schools are closed, or closed early due to weather conditions, all evening activities in schools, both school-sponsored and community-sponsored, are canceled. This includes high school athletic practices and games. All aftercare programs, sponsored by the Columbia Association and the Department of Recreation & Parks in Howard County public schools, are canceled.
On weekends and holidays, if the Howard County Snow Emergency Plan is in effect by 7 a.m., activities already in progress may be completed but any activity scheduled to begin after that time is canceled.
Please do not call your child’s school or the central office during emergencies or adverse weather conditions, to keep phone lines remain free for urgent calls.
Early Dismissals For Inclement Weather
If inclement weather conditions develop during the school day, the Director of Transportation follows the procedures used to determine late openings or school closures. Generally, a decision to close schools early is made no later than 10:30 a.m. In deciding whether or not to close schools early, the Superintendent will consult with the Director of Transportation, the Deputy Superintendent, the Director of Operations, the Community Services Specialist, the Coordinator of Athletics, the Director of Public Relations, and other staff members as appropriate.
School Sponsored and Community Sponsored After-School and Evening Activities
If schools are dismissed early for inclement weather, all after-school and evening activities in schools—both school sponsored and community sponsored—are cancelled.
High School Athletics
If schools are dismissed early due to inclement weather, all high school athletic practices and games are cancelled.