While Clarke County is digging out, a neighboring school system has already thrown in the towel for the entire week. In a message posted to the Loudoun County Public Schools website the Loudoun Superintendent has closed all Loudoun County Public Schools through Friday February 12th. The historic storm that struck our region requires extraordinary amounts of equipment and manpower to clear and the school system has made it clear that it will takes days just to dig out it’s buses. Add to that the time it is taking to clear roads as well as the threat of another storm tomorrow and the only safe course of action is to wave the white flag on the entire week.
Loudoun has one of the largest school systems in the area and will certainly be considered as surrounding counties ponder their next steps.
Clarke County Schools are closed through Tuesday at this point and have made no further announcements on classes for the remainder of the week.
Below is the message from Edgar B. Hatrick, Superintendent of Loudoun Public Schools:
All Loudoun County Public Schools will continue to be closed for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, February 10-12, 2010. This closure includes school activities, practices, and other uses of school buildings. The decision to close is made because of the severity of the snow we already received. It will probably take until Sunday to dig out our 770 buses and make them trip worthy. We are working as fast as possible to open school parking lots and clear walkways on campuses. In the meantime we appreciate the work being done by VDOT, Loudoun’s towns, and homeowner associations to open up secondary roads and community streets. In order for buses to use these streets they must have more than single lane passage, and intersections must be sufficiently cleared to allow for turning.
As we prepare to re-open schools on Tuesday, February 16, the day after the scheduled President’s Day holiday, we will need additional help from Loudoun’s citizens in clearing sidewalks for the more than 20,000 students who walk to and from school each day. We also are counting on community assistance to clear bus stops for students to wait to board buses.
Decisions about opening schools are always made with student safety first and foremost, both for walkers and bus riders. It is likely that some neighborhoods will open up before others, but our ability to staff schools and get students safely to their schools involves more than just a neighborhood area.
We appreciate all of the support Loudoun’s parents and citizens will give to helping us get back to school. Please remember to be safe, particularly as young people and others start to walk in streets because sidewalks are not uncovered. Having pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the roads at the same time creates a very dangerous situation.
Thank you again for your understanding and assistance as we deal with the worst snow storm in many years.