How will I be notified if school is closed or delayed due to weather conditions?
Should school operating hours change due to weather conditions, parents and staff will be notified by phone and email via the school division’s parent notification system AlertNow. The phone call/message or email delivered to you will include the most current information available at the time. For ongoing weather events, updates will be sent to you using AlertNow.
You may also call the VBCPS Emergency Hotline at 757.263.1000 or visit vbschools.com.
How is a decision made to delay or close school due to weather conditions?
If weather conditions exist, are predicted or have the potential to impact the ability to safely open/operate schools, staff will keep a watchful eye on road conditions. When deciding to delay or close schools due to weather conditions, consideration will be given to all methods of transportation, used by students and staff, to and from school. This includes teens who drive to school in the early morning hours prior to sunrise, student walkers and students at bus stops.
There are many factors to take into consideration in making the decision to delay or close schools since 640 buses are put on the road each school day to transport approximately 62,000 students. In addition to students who attend neighborhood schools, there are also a large number of students who attend schools, centers and programs that travel long distances from their homes. We must also factor in the thousands of students that are transported to schools outside their attendance zone in order to access programs or services that best meet their needs.
How does the school division determine if the road conditions are unsafe for travel?
Key transportation staff gather information from various sources. School administrators consult with regional representatives from the National Weather Service, the Virginia Department of Highways, police departments, federal and local agencies and neighboring school districts. Representatives from these agencies share information on road and weather conditions that enable school staff to determine if road conditions are such that students and staff are able to arrive safely to and from school.
Additionally, school division security staff members report what they are experiencing as they check schools and parking lots. School bus transportation staff members drive into neighborhoods and around schools to obtain firsthand information on current conditions. Administrators consult with school maintenance and custodial staff members who are responsible for clearing and treating schools parking lots and sidewalks.
When is the decision made to close schools due to weather conditions?
The school division is not able to provide an exact time a closing or delay announcement will be made.Should weather conditions exist or be predicted with certainty, impacting the ability to safely open schools, a decision will be made in a timely fashion to close or delay the opening of school. Every effort will be made to contact parents and staff as soon as possible in order to make last-minute arrangements for child care.
Why are there times when school is cancelled or delayed and the roads in my neighborhood appear to be in good driving condition?
Because Virginia Beach covers a large geographic area of approximately 310 square miles, weather conditions can vary dramatically in different locations around the city.The decision to delay or cancel school is made in the best interest and safety of EVERY student and staff member.
Should there be a delayed school opening due to weather conditions, how will it impact the programs, services and activities scheduled that day?
If the starting time for school is delayed due to weather conditions, activities scheduled during and after school will be impacted. For your convenience, we developed a matrix that addresses the impact of a one-hour delay, two-hour delay, and early dismissal. Should the operating hours of schools be impacted, please check the Emergency Arrival/Dismissal Matrix to determine the status of school activities scheduled for that particular day.
Should school be closed during the school day as a result of weather, what is the process for dismissal?
Students will be dismissed from school if weather conditions permit and all students are able to arrive home safely. If weather conditions deteriorate rapidly, it may be necessary to house students at the school until safe passage home is established. Should school be closed during the school day due to weather, the order of dismissal will take place as follows:
• High Schools
• "A" Elementary Schools
• "B" Elementary Schools
• Middle Schools