I know our parents walked to school uphill both ways through two feet of snow, heck I’ve even shared some of those stories with my kids when they complain about going to school on a questionable day. Last week we had two such days, and either way one side of the county was going to be upset. I want to share what we saw and try to help us all gain a little perspective…
On Tuesday, the School Board made a somewhat late call to cancel school. It felt even later than normal because we all got a call early Sunday evening schools would be closed on Monday due to the extreme cold. On top of that, the roads were pretty good at 5:30 when some folks in the eastern part of the county were leaving for work. Recall that we had some precipitation over the weekend and that it was super cold on Monday. Many roads in Western LoCo never see sunlight and were still iced over despite the rain. It was bad enough for VDOT to tell the County their trucks were sliding off the road and to recommended closing school.
Here was one of the first things I saw on Facebook that morning:
Now I admit, when we lived in Leesburg there were many days I would question schools being closed because our roads were clear. And to be fair, after someone who lived in western LoCo commented his road was a sheet of ice, the tone changed and was a little more understanding. This was one of many threads I read from people who were very upset about schools being closed.
Skip ahead to Friday, schools have already been closed twice this week, and we have a two hour delay due to freezing rain. Once again on Facebook, I see that a teacher has told some friends to sit tight, some buses are being held because of the conditions. After calling our elementary school we are told everything is going as planned. Our bus was late even though we are on one of the main streets in Purcellville, so like half the town my girls were driven to school. When I get home there’s this:
And then at 1:00:
WTOP Radio posted this video, watch it and tell me if you think the right call was made.
I spoke with the LCPS Public Information Office this morning and was told the principal at each school does have the discretion to make those absences excused. We were also told there is currently no discussion concerning closing only a portion of the schools due to hazardous conditions and if that was an area we wanted to pursue we should contact our local School Board Member (you could do that here).
One of the great things about living in Loudoun is our variety of lifestyles. It also makes issues like this so tough because of the drastic difference in road conditions. I can see both sides, and perhaps having the ability to close a portion of the schools should be considered. Not sure what the answer is, but I know keeping our kids safe should be the main priority. Maybe I’m crazy, but I enjoy the snow days. Before too long my kids will be gone and there won’t be any more.