Schools Reopen Monday; Time to Clear the Sidewalks

The lights are expected to be back on at Loudoun County’s 88 public schools Monday. Division administrators announced today they plan to resume classes after the past six school days were canceled.

“It is anticipated the rising temperatures forecasted for this weekend will favorably affect conditions and make travel safe Monday,” a press release from division administration stated.

Classes were first canceled Friday, Jan. 22, ahead of the looming Blizzard Jonas that hit the East Coast last weekend. The schools remained closed all this week to give crews time to clear the roughly 3-feet of snow that the storm system left behind.

School leaders and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office issued reminders today urging residents to spend part of the weekend clearing sidewalks so students can safety travel to and from school next week.

“People have to remember everyone who uses the sidewalk. It’s not simply for your personal use,” said Wayde Byard, the school division’s public information officer. “If it’s not clear, children and others may be forced to walk in the street. Given the limited visibility caused by the snow piles on virtually every corner, this is a potential safety risk.”

The deep snow may require alternate bus stops in some neighborhoods next week. Families who will have an altered bus stop will be contacted via the Blackboard Connect system over the weekend. Parents are encouraged to do a trial walk to school or the bus stop during the weekend to assess conditions. The school division has also asked parents to accompany students to school or the bus stop during times when snow and ice may be a factor.

Because of the days missed during the snow emergency, first semester will be extended by four days, with first semester ending Thursday, Feb. 4. The “moveable student holiday” (planning/records/conference day) initially planned for today will be moved to Friday, Feb. 5.

With a two-week winter break, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and the past week’s inclement weather, Loudoun students have been in school just 13 days in the past six weeks.

Still, no additional school days for students will be added to the calendar because of the days missed—not yet anyway. The school division builds about 15 additional academic days into its calendar each year.

dnadler@loudounnow.com

@danielle_nadler

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