Last Modified on December 13, 2021
Inclement Weather InformationWhen Loudoun County Public Schools experiences inclement weather conditions, the safety of our students and staff is the most important consideration.With winter around the corner, join Wayde Byard for a Q&A to prepare you for what to expect when inclement weather arrives.Q1: What are some of the things LCPS considers when they might need to close school or announce a delay when the weather is bad?
Q2: Why would LCPS close schools due to bad weather when online learning is available?
Q3: How Will I Hear About Weather-Related School Cancellations?
Q4: What happens if a weather-related delay changes to a closure?
Q5: Will after-school activities for students be canceled if school is closed?More answers to your frequently asked questions are below.Decision-Making ProcessThe Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Superintendent, or designee, will determine when schools and administrative offices observe a delayed opening, closing or early release in emergency situations, based upon the recommendation from the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services.The Assistant Superintendent for Support Services will obtain information from the LCPS directors of Transportation and Facilities Services, as well as staff from the LCPS Division of Safety and Security, local utility companies and other appropriate sources, prior to making a recommendation for delayed opening, closing or early release of schools. A decision will be made as early as possible in order to ensure the safety of LCPS students and staff while providing timely notification to parents and staff.To learn more about what factors LCPS considers when making decisions to close or delay school due to inclement weather, click here.How are school cancellations communicated?Loudoun County Public Schools utilizes the Blackboard Mass Notification messaging system to personally communicate with parents about weather-related cancellations and delays. Since Blackboard Mass Notification also is used to notify parents of emergency situations involving their student, parents cannot completely opt out of this system.
The ParentVUE system allows parents to opt out of receiving weather-related alerts. If parents do not want to hear weather-related alerts, they should log into their ParentVUE account. For each child you have enrolled in the system, go to the student information portion of ParentVUE and click “edit information.” Scroll down on the page until you reach Weather Opt Out and select “Yes.” Save your changes.Weather-related closing and delay messages are sent district-wide. Messages are sent early in the morning (6 a.m.) or at night (prior to 10 p.m.) notifying parents that schools will be closed or operating on a delay due to inclement weather.Information will be posted on the LCPS website, www.lcps.org, and on the school division’s Facebook page and Twitter feed.Parents also may sign up for the Loudoun Alert 2.0 system offered by Loudoun Government (www.loudoun.gov/alert). See additional information below.Loudoun County Public Schools will continue to use the traditional methods of radio and TV in addition to our website, phone, e-mail and social media capabilities. When conditions require school closings or early dismissal of students, announcements will be given to the following radio and TV stations:
WTOP 103.5 FM/103.9 FM WRC TV 4
WINC 92.5 FM WTTG TV 5
WMAL 630 AM WJLA TV 7
WTOP 1500 AM WUSA TV 9
News Channel 8
Loudoun Alert 2.0Register with Loudoun Alert 2.0 to receive up-to-the-minute information regarding school closings, delays, early dismissals and special circumstances via automatic email updates. Alert Loudoun system gives subscribers the ability to customize how they receive information – by text, email, cellphone and/or mobile app.To register with Loudoun Alert, go to https://www.loudoun.gov/alert .To unsubscribe, go to Loudoun Alert and log in using your email and password. On the devices page, use the edit/delete function to update your subscription.What if bad weather arrives when children are in school?If severe weather strikes while students are in school, a decision to close school for the remainder of the day may be made. Activating the transportation system due to inclement weather takes time. Parents will be notified of closing details via Blackboard Mass Notification.What if a delay changes to a closure?In the event of a delayed opening being changed to a closure, parents will be notified via Blackboard Mass Notification. This information will be on our website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and on Radio/TV stations.Why would LCPS close schools due to bad weather when online learning is available?Though LCPS offered online learning last year, asking the whole division to move to online learning for a snow day has many challenges. In bad weather, power outages may impact access to the internet, which in some parts of the county is already spotty. In addition, some teachers would need to travel to their school buildings to get connected - which would not be possible in snow. In addition, on an instructional day, we are required to provide meals to everyone. Picking up those meals or delivering them would not be possible with severe road conditions.
The student calendar has days built in so we can have inclement weather days without adding days to the end of the year. We’ve had a fixed calendar since 1990 so that families can plan around the first and last days of school.Will after-school activities for students be canceled if school is closed?All after-school activities requiring school bus transportation are canceled. Please check the district website or your school’s website for specific information, as on rare occasions, some after school or evening activities may be safely conducted.Adult Education classes may also be canceled. Instructors will inform students about make-up dates.What can parents do to help their students and school prepare?
Updated December 3, 2021
- Contact your childcare facility, if necessary, to find out what their procedures are for inclement weather.
- Review the information you have listed as emergency contacts in ParentVUE and make sure that the numbers are updated.
- Make plans ahead of time and communicate them with your children so they understand what to expect during an early school dismissal due to inclement weather.
- Understand that school closings are for the safety of children throughout the district. While the condition of your neighborhood streets may be fine, other areas of the district may be experiencing harsher weather.