Due to inclement weather or other emergency situations, it may be necessary to close schools for the entire day, to open schools late, or to close early.
You are probably thinking, “It’s September, I don’t need to worry about this until winter.” In a typical year, yes, but the weather the past few years has been anything but typical. Our area has seen floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and storms that caused widespread power outages, not to mention an earthquake.
Parents are urged to make arrangements now for the care of their children when schedule changes are made (and to provide for the rare situation when it is necessary to close an individual school because of a power failure or other circumstances). Children should know where to go if a parent will not be home.
Decisions on schedule changes are made after careful study of the best information available from many sources including weather services, the highway department, the police, and FCPS transportation staff members who are out checking the roads. FCPS will make every effort to decide, before 4:30 a.m., whether to close or delay schools and will begin communicating the decision once it is made. The 4:30 a.m. decision time is a goal. Weather conditions can deteriorate after 4:30 a.m., which means that it may not be possible for FCPS to meet that goal.
Decisions are made with one overriding consideration—the safety of all students—those who ride buses, those who drive their own cars, and those who walk to school each day.
FCPS has several schedules set up to deal with inclement weather; these are put into effect when conditions threaten the safety of children:
(1) Keep schools closed. (2) Open two hours late. (3) Close two hours early.
When Fairfax County Public Schools has a schedule change (closing or delay) due to inclement weather or other emergencies, the information is communicated as soon as the decision is made in these ways:
Please note: FCPS schools are open unless information is posted or sent that indicates schools are closed, opening late, or closing early. During an emergency closing situation in which other local school systems are closed or delayed and FCPS is open on time, the crawl for local TV stations WJLA (ABC 7) and NewsChannel 8 will indicate "No Report" for FCPS.
Instead of trying to phone a school or a news station for school closing information, subscribe or update your Keep in Touch information by visiting www.fcps.edu/kit/. You will get an update sent directly to your e-mail or phone.
For more information, go to http://www.fcps.edu/news/weather.shtml.
If you want to learn more about how FCPS administrators decide to delay or close schools during inclement weather, you can check out a short video, which is available here.
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