Superintendent shares update on afternoon dismissal

Superintendent shares update on afternoon dismissal

To the FCPS Community:

I hope my message to you this evening finds you and your loved ones well and safe. I wanted to update the community regarding this afternoon’s dismissal from schools. 

As we mentioned in a message to our community yesterday, we were aware that the remnants of Hurricane Ida would bring rain to our community over an extended period of time. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, we closely monitored weather and road conditions throughout the county, just as we would with any other inclement weather situation. We also closely monitored the forecast.

Initial school dismissals proceeded normally until drivers were met with unexpectedly hazardous road conditions. As middle and some elementary school buses were beginning their routes, very heavy rain overtook our entire county. The sudden hazardous road conditions led to many challenges.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Department informed us that buses needed to be removed from the roads, leading many elementary school buses to return back to schools where our school administrators ensured that students were able to safely unite with families. One bus encountered high water in the Thurmont area, leading to a response by fire and rescue crews. All students and one driver on this bus were safely evacuated and united with their families. 

Our decision to remain open for a full day led to last-minute changes for families, along with stress and anxiety for many. For that, I am deeply sorry. My first priority is to keep students and staff safe. I am grateful that everyone was able to get safely to their homes. 

I want to thank the many staff members who stayed at school working diligently to ensure our students were cared for while waiting for their families. I also want to thank our bus drivers and bus assistants who demonstrated what incredible professionals they are.  Finally, I am grateful to our law enforcement and first responders who supported us during the flash flooding this afternoon.

Terry Alban