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First Snowfall for new Superintendent

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by Genco, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Genco

    Genco Member

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    Well it appears that Dr. Williams is not knowledgeable yet to understand how a little snow in this area can mess up the commute. I guess they didn't have these issues in York county, but he should know better from his days in Fairfax. I can't wait to hear about the various stories that come from today.
     
  2. shim

    shim shim

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    Let's hope Eric shows better judgement during the budget process.
     
    Genco likes this.
  3. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    looks like everyone was caught off guard with the severity of the weather... roads were not ready and the morning commute appears to be a disaster.

    It's a catch-22 for them I'm sure where they cross a 'point of no return' where if they haven't made the decision by then, its a lot harder to change. Imagine all the parents who sent their elementary kids off at 7:30 to then hear at 8:20 that schools would be closed, etc. Unwinding the mess after the first wave of kids are on the buses is probably a lot more ugly than simply having everyone suffer through an hour or so of slow starts.

    Imagine if we all relied 100% on the weatherman for our jobs and got scolded when the weatherman was wrong... you'd be lucky to be 'right' half the time.

    I'd be more curious about the VDOT prep...
     
    higgins likes this.
  4. Genco

    Genco Member

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    All anyone had to do was see that the Loudoun County Commuter buses were experiencing significant delays before 7am, check in with the Purcellville, Leesburg and Loudoun police force to get an idea of what they are seeing on the roads. Teachers can't get to work, buses are stuck, some can't get up small hills, kids are left at bus stops without buses to pick them up. If someone is solely relying upon the weatherman than they are not as smart as people thought they were. If you call for a two-hour delay and it gets worse you can cancel the whole day, but now you are left with schools who don't have a full complement of teachers, students, and you put everybody at risk because of poor driving conditions. How many extra instructional days are built in to the school calendar? The last I checked it was 15 days. He could have used a two hour delay today and then moved it to a full cancellation or the two hours would have been enough. I don't rely upon anybody to do my job.
     
  5. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    But why unwind MORE of a mess when it could (roads were bad enough by 0700 with much more forecasted to come) have been only elementary school that would have been impacted? I do not get the philosophy that everyone must make it to school, after the 0500 deadline before LCPS makes a decision.
     
  6. shim

    shim shim

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    Fairfax County Superintendent has already emailed parents an apology.
     
  7. pauleyc

    pauleyc Member

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    LCPS did also
     
  8. pauleyc

    pauleyc Member

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    We apologize for the difficulties the weather caused this morning. After careful consideration of all available information, including advanced weather forecasts and real-time monitoring of road conditions across the county, LCPS made an early morning decision to keep schools open Tuesday, January 6th.

    Clearly, the conditions became far worse than anticipated. Students are safest at school when parents have not had a chance to make alternate plans for their child's return home. At this time, we are planning to dismiss schools at their normal dismissal time.However, all LCPS after-school activities are cancelled for this afternoon and evening.

    LCPS regrets any confusion or stress today’s decisions may have caused. Student and staff safety remains our top priority and policy and procedures around closure and delay decision-making will be reviewed and enhanced using lessons learned today.
     
  9. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    The post on Facebook is getting torn up (rightfully) with negative responses.
     
  10. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

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    It's a case of 'you can't please everyone'. The schools tiers aren't that isolated for every family. And the 'some of this, some of that' just makes it horrible on all.

    If you were a single parent working hourly... which is worse for you... your kid waiting 45mins at the bus stop... or you having to figure out how to get your kid in the house, or with someone you trust, while not at home and not able to leave work without risk of not having money to feed yourself or losing your job?

    I mean we all love our white collar freedoms... but not everyone has them.

    Or what if LCPS said "we have no idea when your kid will be home.. it all depends on where the buses were when they changed their mind, etc" people would be irate.

    Honestly the indecision is far worse on parents than simply making a decision and sticking to it.
     
  11. PowerPlay

    PowerPlay Member

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    The safe bet would have been to delay an hour. If it turned out to be nothing then you've lost an hour. If it turns out worse, then go to 2 hours and then close (as most school systems did). I'm not sure they can say "well the weather caught us off guard". Weather does that, it's never been an exact science. What was wrong with erring on the side of caution? It was an all or nothing decision at 5am.

    I realize many would have been inconvenienced if an hour delay turned out to be nothing causing them to be late for work, etc, etc... but today was the alternative. Easy choice, IMHO.

    On the other hand, I'd like to thank the bus drivers, teachers, administrators, etc who were out there braving it for the sake of our kids. They should be commended in spite of Dr. Williams call/noncall.

    That apology email might have just said, "sorry, not sorry"
     
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  12. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    Flynnibus - I agree there is a point of no return where they need to make a decision and stick with it / not waffle on the decision. However (comma), LCPS's apology statement about making an "early morning" decision is hogwash. The form-letter / mass-email that Wayde sent out to everyone who complained cited their practice of having people out evaluating the road conditions at 2:30 a.m. I'm sorry, but that's the middle of the night, and when the forecast said the snow wasn't going to START until 4 a.m. and would be the worst at 6 a.m., how on earth does evaluating the road conditions at 2:30 a.m. do anyone any good???

    When I left for work at 6 a.m., the road conditions were TERRIBLE and I expected a phone call from Wayde at any moment cancelling school. My Loudoun County commuter bus was fishtailing back and forth and the wheels were spinning on any uphill stretch of road, and I seriously thought our bus was going to end up in a ditch. I kept saying to myself, "Self, this isn't safe, you should have stayed home today." It took me 2 hours to get to work. Talking to friends / coworkers who left for work at 5:30 a.m., they said the same thing - road conditions were terrible at 5:30 and they thought school should have been closed.

    My point is that while I agree with Flynnibus that there's a point of no return on making the go/no-go decision, that would only justify their decision if the snow didn't begin to fall until much later in the morning after everyone was up and moving. In yesterday's case there was no question school SHOULD have been closed and the decision COULD have been made at 5:30 or 6 a.m., well before many people start getting ready for school. Making the decision at 2:30 before the snow even began was ludicrous.

    As it was, my middle schooler stood out in the cold and snow for 40 minutes waiting for the bus to come. My elementary schooler's teacher was 2 hours late for work, so he got to sit around goofing off while waiting for the teachers to make it to work.

    Kudos and thanks to the brave bus drivers and for the teachers and staff who worked very hard yesterday to keep our kids safe. I continue to be impressed by the staff at Hillside Elementary School. In spite of the roads not being clear and many staff members not being able to make it to school on time, the Hillside staff that was there had cleared the snow off most of the sidewalks around the school.
     
    PowerPlay likes this.
  13. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

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    Looks like they got scared this morning and perhaps closed school to make up for yesterday? I know its cold but a 2 hour delay seemed like the right choice. But, good thing my son got the Lord of the Rings Trilogy extended edition on Blu Ray....
     
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  14. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    We haven't seen a plow on our street in the Farm and it is a sheet of ice. Guess VDOT thinks the snow will just melt off the road on its own? It's bizarre.
     
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  15. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    I heard a plow come down our street about 1:30 a.m., but by then it was too late / didn't do any good. The snow compacted under everyone's tires had become a sheet of ice. When I left this morning, I would never have guessed a snow plow had been down our street if it hadn't woken me up.
     

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