As we head into the winter months, the team at Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) has planned for the days when in-person instruction may not be possible. Our plan includes the notification process and the continuation of learning during these unforeseen winter weather conditions. Our goal is to support continuity of learning while also preserving any future days when schools may need to close.
When winter weather (snow, ice or extreme cold temperatures) occurs, and buses cannot safely transport students to and from school, it may be necessary for ACPS to close school buildings and provide at-home virtual instruction under these circumstances. The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority when considering school closures during a winter weather situation. We work in conjunction with the City of Alexandria emergency management staff to assess road conditions and include school personnel in inspecting the conditions of roads, sidewalks, ACPS parking lots and bus lanes.
ACPS attempts to make school closure decisions the evening prior to a winter weather event, taking into consideration that families and staff need time to make proper arrangements. However, when there is a lot of uncertainty around a winter weather forecast, we will wait to get the latest morning forecast and road condition update from the City of Alexandria emergency management staff. When we are unable to make a decision the evening prior to the potential weather event, the superintendent will make the decision about whether to close school buildings and provide at-home virtual instruction for students by approximately 5:00 a.m. In either case, families and staff will receive regular updates via the ACPS website.
Preparing for At-Home Virtual Instruction
As a general practice during the winter weather season, it is recommended that students take home their computers/devices and instructional materials at the end of each school day. This will ensure that students have the necessary materials at home for virtual learning if schools must close due to winter weather conditions.
Communication with Families and Staff
In the case of a winter weather-related closing, families will receive notification via email and text, and staff will receive notification via email. Additionally, the ACPS website, hotline and social media channels will include an alert with the appropriate information and ACPS will share information about winter weather-related closings with local news outlets. This information will remain posted until normal operations have resumed.