Wayde Byard, Loudoun County school system’s public information officer, has a message for you: When it comes to snow days, he is just the messenger.
He and his crew at LCPS-TV created an animated video to explain to students, teachers and parents how the decision is made to cancel classes or cut the school day short.
Byard has become a bit of a local celebrity in recent years because it is his voice that is on the other end of the line of that anticipated phone call that goes out to parents and staff announcing a snow day, late start or early release.
In the three-minute video, Byard takes the form of a mustached snowman and says,
“While I’m the one who receives the public credit—or blame—for those decisions, I am just the messenger.”
[Watch the video below.]
Ahead of any snow day decision, school system staff keeps an eye on national weather sites and consults with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and VDOT about road conditions. If bad weather is in the forecast, a team from the school system’s Transportation Services Department drives some of the more treacherous roads to see their conditions. They also make sure buses will start if the temperatures are extremely cold.
Their findings are reported to Kevin Lewis, assistant superintendent of Support Services, and later Superintendent Eric Williams. “The superintendent ultimately makes the decision and communicates that to me. I, in turn, share with you via the Blackboard Connect system.”
Loudoun has not had any canceled school days this year, but has had a few delayed starts. It doesn’t look like Loudouners will get a call from Byard this week. Temperatures are expected to reach 46 degrees today and stay in the mid-50s the rest of the week.