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Please Note:  A text message at the top of the page will be displayed on all school websites when a decision to close school for snow, ice, or other emergency conditions is made to protect the safety and well-being of students and employees. 
INCLEMENT WEATHER PROCEDURES
On snowy winter mornings students of all ages across Stafford County may ask this question. How will Stafford County Schools determine whether schools will be closed or delayed? The answer results from many hours of assessment by Stafford County Public School staff.

Stafford County Public Schools Policy 5906 states “The superintendent/designee may order the closing, a delay in opening, or the early dismissal of any or all schools in order to protect the safety and welfare of the students and staff."

Often we are asked, “how did you make the decision to close or not to close schools today?” The process involves many staff members and community organizations. On mornings when inclement weather (snow, ice, rain, hurricanes, etc) is expected or is a possibility, the  Stafford County Public Schools’ weather operations center opens.


At 4:00 a.m. the inclement weather operations center opens.

  • The Sheriff’s Office and VDOT are contacted for updates on current road conditions and any particular areas of concern.
  • The weather operations center staff monitors weather forecasts through a variety of weather sites and contacts other school divisions to determine their opening, closing or delay status.
  • The five-member road assessment team drives assigned routes throughout the county determining road conditions and hazards for bus drivers. They are on the road between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. checking road conditions, school driveways and parking lots. They communicate the road conditions in their sectors to the weather operations center.
  • By 5:15 a.m. the weather operations center staff forms an initial recommendation to open, close, or delay the opening of school and relays this recommendation to the superintendent.
  • By 5:30 a.m. the superintendent makes the final decision regarding opening of schools.

At 5:30 a.m. the following steps are taken:

  • The decision to close or delay opening of schools is relayed to a number of radio and television stations in the Fredericksburg, Richmond and Metro DC areas.
  • The information is posted on the School website at www.staffordschools.net and on the central office voice mail system at 658-6698.
  • The information is shared with SchoolsOut.com.
  • The information is shared with the Stafford County Alert Email System Staffordalert.com.
  • If the decision is to delay the opening of school, the road assessment team continues to check the road conditions. The weather operations center staff continues to monitor weather forecast information and to check with other school divisions on their final decision for opening schools.
  • The road assessment team reports to the weather operations center by 7:15 a.m. and a final recommendation is made to the superintendent for maintaining the delayed opening or for closing for the day.

WHERE TO FIND SCHOOL CLOSING ANNOUNCEMENTS

All local radio and television stations are informed of school closings and delays.

Families may wish to check with several media sources to verify closing information.

The Stafford Schools’ website at www.staffordschools.net posts the information as soon as the decision is made.  (Remember to “Refresh” or “Reload” each time you visit the site!)  Also, the Free-Lance Star’s website at www.fredericksburg.com also posts the closings and delays.

FM Stations:
 
WFLS - 93.3
WBQB - 101.5
WGRQ - 95.9
WTOP - 103.5 & 107.7
95.9 & 104.5

AM Stations:
 
WFVA - 1230

Television Stations:

WJLA - CH 7 ABC
Newschannel 8
WRC - CH 4 NBC
WTTG - CH 5 FOX
WUSA - CH 9 CBS
WTVR - CH 6 CBS
WWBT - CH 12 NBC

Cable Stations:

Comcast Channel 18
Cox Channel 18
Verizon Fios Channel 38

Websites:

www.staffordschools.net
www.fredericksburg.com
www.wtop.com
www.schoolsout.com
www.staffordalert.com

or call 540-658-6698

ALERT SYSTEMS


Stafford County joined School’s Out to provide email notifications to parents and thecommunity.  School's Out can distribute closing and delay  information to the public regarding Stafford Schools during Snowstorms, hurricanes, wind and ice storms, floods, power failures, and even heating and air conditioning failures. School employees directly update the School’s Out site and information flows immediately to registered email accounts. If you would like to have email or cell phone notifications, go to www.schoolsout.com to register.


Stafford County’s alert system is another avenue for receiving emergency notifications from the schools and from other Stafford County agencies.  Go to www.staffordalert.com to        register.


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Missed Days:


2013-2014  School Year Closings and Delays Due to Inclement Weather


DATE
CODE
WEATHER SITUATION
March 18, 2014 2-Hour Delay
March 17, 2014 Code 1
This decision is based on the winter weather advisory/warning and the expected accumulations of sleet and snow overnight. (Updated 3/16/2014)
March 7, 2014 2-Hour Delay Expected Refreezing of roads
March 5, 2014 Code 2 Code 2 Administrative Offices Open at 10:00 a.m.
March 4, 2014 Code 1 Snow/Ice
March 3, 2014 Code 0 Snow/Ice
February 26, 2014 2-Hour Delay Snow - Elementary students will not have an early release as previously scheduled.
February 18, 2014 2-Hour Delay Snow/Ice
February 14, 2014 Code 2 Administrative Offices Open at 10:00 a.m.
February 13, 2014 Code 1 All Schools and Offices Closed (Snow)
February 5, 2014 Code 2 Administrative Offices Open at 10:00 a.m.  A Code 2 decision was made after road conditions were re-assessed by the Inclement Weather Team from the earlier 2-hour delay notice.
January 29, 2014 Code 2 Administrative Offices Open at 10:00 a.m.
January 23, 2014 Code 1 All Schools and Offices Closed (Snow and Ice Conditions)
January 22, 2014 Code 1 All Schools and Offices Closed (Snow)
January 21, 2014 Code 2 Administrative Offices Open at 10:00 a.m.
January 10, 2014 Code 2 Reassessed at 7:15 to Closed - Code 2 Administrative Offices Open at 10:00 a.m.

This decision is based on numerous reports of hazardous road conditions throughout the county and the continuation of freezing rain through 9 a.m. (which is the time high school students would be on the way to school with the two hour delay).
January 10, 2014 2-Hour Delay Expected Freezing Rain in early morning hoursRevised to Code 2 - see above entry
January 8, 2014 2-Hour Delay Extreme Cold Temperatures with a warning to have children to remain indoors
January 7, 2014 Code 2 Extreme Cold Temperatures with a warning to have children to remain indoors
January 3, 2014 Code 1 Snow/Ice
December 11, 2013 2-Hour Delay Expected Refreezing of roads
December 10, 2013 Code 1 All Schools and Offices Closed (Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain)
December 9, 2013 Code 2 Administrative Offices Open at 10:-00 a.m. (Sleet, Freezing Rain)

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Driving In Inclement Weather: Is Your Student Ready?

Road conditions may not be appropriate for inexperienced drivers during inclement weather. Parents should determine whether their student drivers have the experience to drive in certain road conditions. The school division’s decision to close or delay school is based on the ability of our professional school bus drivers to safely transport students to and from school. 

School administrators and parents are to be aware that School Board Policy allows parents the option of not sending their child to school during inclement weather when, in the parent’s judgment, conditions in their neighborhood are unsafe. In such cases, upon notification by the parent, the student will receive an excused absence. The student will be required to make up any work missed.  


Dividing Line

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Information Provided by:  Office of Public Information
Maintained by:  Webmaster
Last Updated: 04/03/2014

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