Inclement Weather Message: Jan. 5, 2022

Inclement Weather Message: Jan. 5, 2022
Posted on 01/05/2022
HCPS LogoDear Families, Faculty, and Staff,

Our team has been carefully evaluating road and weather conditions throughout the day with the goal of reopening the school division tomorrow. While conditions in many areas of the county have improved, our families in the western portion of Hanover County are still significantly struggling due to the higher snowfall they received earlier in the week, which was upwards of 12 inches in some areas. While crews have made some progress today, several roads remain hazardous and unsafe for travel due to downed and hanging trees, limbs, and power lines. In addition, more than 4,000 homes in these areas are still without power, impacting their ability to access running water and heat, cook food, or access the internet. Our county government partners have opened warming and charging stations for families in the west end, as well as a free water distribution site at Poor Farm Park, which will open on Thursday.

Additionally, the remaining road hazards will significantly disrupt our ability to safely run our bus routes effectively. This will also affect our student drivers, as well as limit our parents’ ability to transport their children in a timely manner and some of our staff’s ability to report to school. As a result, HCPS will be CLOSED on Thursday, January 6. This includes the Online School. Employees use Code 4 if you are able to safely access your building.

While we understand that the majority of the hazardous conditions are in the west end, we operate as one school division, and any delay or closure will impact all of our schools, including our Online School. As many in our community are currently experiencing, power outages that accompany these major storms make remote learning during inclement weather days especially challenging. This creates a disparity between those who have power and access to reliable internet and those who do not, both students and staff. In a typical school year, we have enough instructional hours built into our calendar to ensure we meet state requirements. We continue to monitor our instructional hours total and, should changes to the school calendar be necessary, we would communicate them broadly.

We understand this continues to be disruptive and sincerely appreciate your patience as we work to make the best possible decisions for our students and staff. As we shared yesterday, our goal is to reopen our schools as quickly and as safely as possible, and we appreciate your patience as crews work to clear our roadways and restore power. We hope that sharing this information well in advance is helpful to you as you begin making the necessary arrangements.

Stay safe, warm, and healthy,

Chris Whitley
Assistant Superintendent of Community Engagement and Legislative Affairs
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