Fairfax County School Officials Publish Letter Explaining Decision to Cancel Classes for 3 Days

Read the letter from the school division that has many residents talking.

Fairfax County Public Schools release statement about its decision to close schools. (Patch file.)
Fairfax County Public Schools release statement about its decision to close schools. (Patch file.)
Fairfax County Public Schools is standing behind its decision to call off school for a third day in a row, resulting in children being absent from their classrooms and learning for almost an entire week. 

The school year could be extended if classes are canceled on Friday, Jan. 24
 What do you think about the decision to cancel school in Fairfax  County?

A letter posted on the FCPS Facebook page by school division administrators explaining their decision to cancel classes garnered hundreds of comments on Thursday.  

Here's what it said: 

"FCPS’ primary concern is always student safety when making a decision about opening schools. We consider all the methods of transportation that FCPS students use to get to school: school buses, walking to schools or bus stops, parent drivers, and student drivers.
The decision-making process especially considers those teenagers who drive to high schools in the early morning hours before it is light, those students who walk, and those students waiting at bus stops. There are also many students who attend schools, centers, or programs that are long distances from their homes. 

In addition to main arteries such as I-66 and I-495, the county’s transportation system also includes narrow, winding roads in still relatively rural parts of the county such as Clifton and Great Falls. Fairfax County encompasses approximately 400 square miles and road conditions can vary significantly in different parts of the county.
Yesterday and last evening, FCPS transportation supervisors traveled the routes our buses would traverse and inspected bus stops and the pathways walkers would be taking, and found that throughout Fairfax County there were still considerable areas that were unsafe and treacherous. While VDOT has done an outstanding job with the main arteries, there are continuing safety concerns with secondary roads and sidewalks. 

For more on the decision making process, go to fcps.edu/news/weatherdecision.shtml

We are hopeful that the additional time will give road crews, homeowners associations, and private citizens the opportunity they need to clear roads and sidewalks so that students may safely return to school.


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