School districts cancel class for black ice, talk about make-up days

Updated: Jan. 9, 2018 at 5:53 PM EST
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Black ice covered the roads Tuesday morning. It was so bad that instead of a two-hour delay, most school districts decided to give students another day off.

Administrators say it was a last minute decision, but it was necessary because of safety.

"As soon as I started driving, I got on 295 and saw a vehicle in the ditch and called the assistant superintendent and said we have a situation here," says Josh Davis, Director of HCPS Department of Pupil Transportation.

Around 7 a.m., most school districts made the decision to stay closed, which was something administrators admit was very last minute.

"Sometimes we make a decision based on a forecast. Sometimes we base it on actual conditions," said Josh Davis. "This was one of those times where we needed to look at the actual conditions. I didn't feel we had the evidence in the forecast to close schools last night."

School districts took to social media to apologize for the last minute cancellation, but most parents say they didn't mind at all.

"I think it was a good decision," said John Davis. His daughters go to school in Henrico County. "I think the people in charge know what they're doing."
Angela Washington agrees.  Black ice is too risky for her kids to go to school.  "There are a lot of windy back roads, and I would be afraid to drive them with my car and especially as early in the morning as the kids get on the bus. So a bus, compared to your car, yes keep them at home," she said.

Most students have already missed about four days of school. Each district has a different way of handling make up days.

In Chesterfield:

  • Missed Day 1: Banked time based on the current number of instructional hours
  • Missed Day 2: Early released day scheduled for February 2, 2018, becomes a full day for students
  • Missed Day 3: Make-up on February 19, 2018
  • Missed Day 4: Early releases scheduled for March 16, 2018, and April 13, 2018, become full days for students
  • Missed Day 5: Early releases scheduled for June 14-15, 2018 become full days for students
  • Missed Day 6-10: Beginning April 13, 2018, an additional five minutes will be added to the school day for every missed day

Hanover County Public Schools spokesperson says:

In regard to the inclement weather days, we've used four days thus far. However, we have additional inclement weather days built into the calendar, both "banked" days (3) and makeup days (3).

Henrico County Public Schools spokesperson says:

It's safe to say that the instructional hours that we've banked throughout the year so far still have us ahead of the Virginia requirements. So we're still in good shape. That being said, there's still plenty of winter left, and if we had to make any adjustments to the calendar we would of course share those directly with Henrico families.

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