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ACPS says snow days may be a thing of the past in Alexandria

The days of making offerings to ancient winter deities in hopes of summoning a snow day could be a thing of the past for Alexandria students. Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) said in a newsletter last week that the schools may continue virtual learning for various winter weather conditions.

ACPS said in a newsletter that school buildings may close as usual, but instruction will continue virtually at home, Alexandria Living Magazine first reported.

“When winter weather (snow, ice or extreme cold temperatures) occurs, and buses cannot safely transport students to and from school, it may be necessary for ACPS to close school buildings and provide at-home virtual instruction under these circumstances,” ACPS said in the newsletter. “Our goal is to support continuity of learning while also preserving any future days when schools may need to close.”

ACPS said it would endeavor to make a decision about closing schools the evening prior to severe winter weather, if possible.

“ACPS attempts to make school closure decisions the evening prior to a winter weather event, taking into consideration that families and staff need time to make proper arrangements,” ACPS said. “However, when there is a lot of uncertainty around a winter weather forecast, we will wait to get the latest morning forecast and road condition update from the City of Alexandria emergency management staff. When we are unable to make a decision the evening prior to the potential weather event, the superintendent will make the decision about whether to close school buildings and provide at-home virtual instruction for students by approximately 5:00 a.m. In either case, families and staff will receive regular updates via the ACPS website.”

The newsletter encouraged students to take their computers/devices home at the end of the school day to have at-home for virtual learning.

Snow days aren’t the only change coming for the school system. Last Thursday, the Alexandria School Board also talked through additional scheduling changes for the upcoming 2022-2024 school years. One of the changes currently proposed would add in more flexibility to recognize Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish holidays, including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali and Eid al-Adha. Though Juneteenth doesn’t fall on a school day, staff at the School Board meeting said it would still be recognized as a holiday

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