Inclement Weather and Emergency Early Dismissal Closings Information
The decision to close school is made by the Superintendent with the advice of many others. On mornings when bad weather is forecast, school division employees begin checking the roads at 2:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. They also consult with law enforcement, weather services, other school divisions, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and county emergency management services. Each section of the county is checked since weather conditions can vary greatly between the eastern and western areas. The school division may opt to delay opening of school to allow for additional time to verify weather forecasts, or to allow weather conditions and visibility to improve. If conditions are not safe for student travel, the Superintendent may opt to close school.
How to find out if there is a delay or closing
When there is closing, delay, or early closing once school is in session, the schools notify major radio and television stations. Parents will be notified by phone, email and/or text notifications through SchoolMessenger.
Emergency Early Dismissal
Sometimes weather or other emergency situations such as loss of water dictates an early closing. If parents work, they need to develop a plan for the care of their children if school lets out early. Arrangements for responsible adults to meet children at the bus stop should be in place prior to an emergency closing. Teachers need to be made aware of the need to place children on different buses if necessary. When the decision is made to close early, it takes approximately one and a half hours for the buses to be in place and ready to leave. Bus drivers must be located and notified to report to work. Dismissal times are staggered to allow for double-run buses to return for the second pick-up. Please keep in mind that dismissal times are estimates. During bad weather buses move slowly and may take awhile to arrive home.
The school system advises working parents to develop a plan for the care of their children when they are not in school. When school closes, especially after the school day has begun, children need to know specifically where they are to go and what they are to do. Parents need to be very clear in instructing a child to do what they want them to do, such as, go to a grandparent or a trusted neighbor.