With the advent of virtual learning in public schools during the Covid pandemic, it seemed like snow days would become a thing of the past.
In late 2021, Alexandria said remote learning would replace in-person classes during what, in the past, would have been a day away from school for children.
A bill was proposed in the Virginia House of Delegates earlier this year to make remote learning a mandatory substitute for snow days, though the bill died in the House Committee on Education.
Now, some localities are starting to reconsider that push to replace snow days with virtual learning.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) announced earlier this year that the school district would restore snow days and end the use of virtual learning.
“This adjustment aims to maximize in-person learning and to ensure equitable access to instruction and student services for all students,” FCPS said in a press release.
Alexandria City Public Schools’ website says, if there are sufficient calendar days, the school division will consider designating the day “as an actual snow day for all students and staff.”
There’s not a speck of snow on the forecast, but Alexandrians might see snow plows making the rounds across the city today.
The city’s Department of Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES) is doing a practice run today for potential wintery conditions.
“If you see snow plows on Alexandria streets on November 13, they are not responding to an actual snowstorm but are instead practicing their routes and equipment readiness,” the city said in a release.
According to the release:
Test runs are an essential part of the City’s winter preparedness strategy; they help T&ES, and other City agencies involved in winter weather response, to respond promptly and effectively to keep our streets clear and our community safe when a snow event does occur.
Such drills give snow plow operators the opportunity to refamiliarize themselves with equipment, routes, and safety procedures to enhance their efficiency when responding to snow and ice events. The dry runs also allow T&ES to identify and address any maintenance or operational issues with our snow plows, ensuring they are in peak condition when winter weather arrives.
As always, T&ES encourages everyone to exercise caution when encountering snow plows on City streets. Even when there isn’t snow and ice on the ground, we ask residents to please give snow plows space to safely maneuver.
Weather experts are predicting a potential winter wonderland this year, with estimates of up to six or seven inches of snow, Washingtonian reported.
Good Tuesday morning, Alexandria!
🌥 Today’s weather: Overcast throughout the day. High of 45 and low of 34.
⛅ Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 45 and low of 34. Sunrise at 7:28 am and sunset at 5:06 pm.
🚨 You need to know
Currently, during severe weather conditions, schools have the option to switch to remote learning. House Bill 1666, pre-filed yesterday by Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville) would change that to a requirement rather than an option: school divisions must declare unscheduled remote learning days to provide instruction and student services.
The school divisions are also not allowed to claim more than 10 unscheduled remote learning days per year without an extension granted by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
While snow days are forever popular among students and teachers, the change is likely spurred on by concerns about learning loss in Virginia students over the last few years. Before disheartened teachers and students start shaking their fists at the state legislature, it’s worth noting that Alexandria City Public Schools had already started moving in that direction.
📈 Monday’s most read
The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jan 9, 2023.
- Notes: Popular D.C. brewery opening new location in the Carlyle neighborhood (604 views)
- Saving herself: Alexandria author kidnapped by Somali pirates to publish second book (529 views)
- Poll: Should Alexandria implement more ‘no turn on red’ restrictions? (399 views)
- ‘The most blighted property in the West End’ gets redevelopment recommendation from Planning Commission (318 views)
🗞 Other local coverage
- George Washington Slept Here
Alexandria Living (Monday @ 9:45 pm)
- Peruse the Menus for Alexandria Restaurant Week
Alexandria Living (Monday @ 5:38 pm)
- Atlas Brew Works To Open Location With Andy’s Pizza In Alexandria
Patch (Monday @ 3:49 pm)
- See The Online Menus: Alexandria Restaurant Week Returns with $25, $35 and $45 Prix Fixe Choices
Zebra (Monday @ 2:24 pm)
- National Pizza Week 2023: Best Pizza In Old Town Alexandria, Deals
Patch (Monday @ 12:18 pm)
- Crash Causes Downed Traffic Signal On Route 1 In Alexandria
Patch (Monday @ 8:53 am)
🐦 Tweets of note
The traffic signal at the intersection of Richmond Hwy and E Reed Ave was knocked down and is currently not working. Crews are on site making the necessary repairs and directing traffic. Please use caution while traveling through this area. Stay tuned for more updates. pic.twitter.com/qu7zYv7eVR
— Alexandria Transportation & Environmental Services (@AlexandriaVATES) January 9, 2023
For half of a century, dedicated volunteers in the Alexandria community have been organizing an annual observance of the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
This year marks the 50th observance and we would like you to join us this Sunday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/LdHF9f7lSC
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) January 9, 2023
It's #happytails for Malt, one of our longest-term residents, who found his family in late December. They share that he is already flourishing with them, gaining confidence every day and even hanging out with his new feline siblings. Congratulations to Malt and his new family! pic.twitter.com/oEWjuTsiku
— AWLA Alexandria (@AlexAnimals) January 8, 2023
📅 Upcoming events
Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.
- No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) says drivers heading out for the holidays should consider starting a little early, with heavy storms likely to affect travel over the next few days.
In an alert, VDOT said today is the best day to travel, given the forecast.
“Drivers should expect roads to be impacted Thursday and Friday,” VDOT said. “Today will be the best day for holiday travel. Adjust travel plans and avoid all nonessential travel during the height of the storm. This helps to avoid deteriorating conditions and to allow crews room to work.”
VDOT said crews are already pretreating and brining roads, with trucks deployed early Thursday morning to treat roads as needed.
According to the release:
Please continue to monitor forecasts closely as forecasts can improve or worsen quickly. The National Weather Service forecast shows winter weather will impact the region from overnight Wednesday through Friday. The forecast shows the potential for periods of freezing rain and sleet, as well as below-freezing temperatures, heavy rain, and high winds. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for western Loudoun County starting at 4 a.m. Thursday.
Additionally, the National Weather Service has issued an areal flood watch for Alexandria, advising locals not to drive through water on roadways and to avoid small streams.
Snow started falling at around 2:45 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 28) in Alexandria, as the city remains under a Winter Weather Advisory until 4 a.m. Saturday.
The National Weather Service says that the snow could lead to slippery road conditions for the evening commute. One inch of snow is expected.
“The steadiest snow is expected late this afternoon through this evening,” NWS said in the advisory. “Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute.”
Temperatures are expected to fall to 23 degrees this evening.
Here are our current winter weather headlines. Accumulating snow across these areas will impact the evening commute. For the latest info: https://t.co/ZOlvESgJ2H #DCwx #MDwx #VAwx #WVwx pic.twitter.com/manXf3zrt3
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) January 28, 2022
Class times will include live instruction through Zoom and independent work. All essential personnel must still report to schools, if it is safe to do so.
ACPS advised parents to check students’ Canvas or Clever account no later than 8 a.m. Thursday for specifics about their schedule.
ACPS has implemented virtual instruction for some inclement weather days this year, possibly making snow days a thing of the past. Fairfax County Public Schools similarly announced it would go virtual Thursday as well. And in Arlington, a full school closure was announced for tomorrow, using its last traditional allotted snow day.
Winter Weather Alert for Thurs, 1/20/22–ACPS will provide synchronous virtual learning. All schools and offices will be closed for in-person learning & activities. ❄️ https://t.co/lZ8TzPzFle pic.twitter.com/aml9OkuPHK
— Alexandria City Public Schools (@ACPSk12) January 19, 2022
The advisory is set for 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday morning, with the city expected to get two-three inches of snow in the morning with a chance for more in the afternoon.
See the full advisory below:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 1 PM EST
* WHAT…Snow. Snow accumulations of up to two inches with locally
higher amounts around three inches possible.
* WHERE…The District of Columbia, portions of central, northern
and southern Maryland, and central and northern Virginia.
* WHEN…From 6 AM to 1 PM EST Thursday.
* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous
conditions will impact the morning commute.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Precipitation will start as rain and then
switch over to snow during the Thursday morning commute.
Instructions: Slow down and use caution while traveling. When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.
Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria
Prince William, Manassas, Manassas Park
NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the City of Alexandria, effective until 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20. Find information about how to prepare for winter weather. https://t.co/76kuTJasQf
— AlexandriaVAOEM (@AlexandriaVAOEM) January 19, 2022
Nearly a fortnight after a snowstorm shut down Alexandria, the city’s emergency services finished pretreating local roads just before the snow started to fall.
“In advance of the storm, T&ES completed pretreatment of roads and snow response operations were deployed at 7:00 a.m.,” Alexandria Transportation and Environmental Services said on Twitter. “Snow response operates for 24 hours through the duration of winter weather events and staff will continue to monitor the weather conditions as the event ensues.”
Locals are already reporting that the snow is starting to stick.
— Port City Wire (@portcitywire) January 16, 2022
Snow has started in the Northern Virginia District! ❄️ Take a virtual tour via our traffic cameras from our southernmost District point (Russell Rd/Quantico South Gate) up to near the Mixing Bowl. It’s a great time to stay off the roads! pic.twitter.com/PXmXd2lwQ9
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) January 16, 2022
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Alexandria and the immediate D.C. area.
From the National Weather Service:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 1 AM EST MONDAY…
* WHAT…Mixed precipitation. Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph.
* WHERE…Portions of The District of Columbia, central, north central, northeast and northern Maryland and northern Virginia.
* WHEN…From 1 PM this afternoon to 1 AM EST Monday.
* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions.
Slow down and use caution while traveling.
When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.
The big story this week was snow.
A snowstorm on Monday had the city working at clearing roads and putting weather-affected services back into play. There was a smaller dusting of snow last night, though it didn’t have nearly the same level of impact.
- Comcast working on fixing widespread internet service outages caused by fire and snowstorm
- JUST IN: Officials investigate fire at Jordan Street 7-Eleven
- PHOTOS: Scenes from today’s snowstorm in Alexandria
- Winter Weather Advisory issued ahead of Thursday night snow
- Power outage hits North Ridge neighborhood as weather topples trees and power lines
- DEVELOPING: Winter weather conditions shut down city services and some streets
- ACPS cancels school in Alexandria for students, but staff will have a virtual workday
- School closed tomorrow as students and staff both get proper snow day
- ACPS goes to virtual schooling Monday ahead of expected snow
- Alexandria Restaurant Week returns this month with new dining options
The city has previously said trash collection days would operate a day or two behind schedule, but a press release from the City of Alexandria today noted that the city is dealing with a perfect storm of issues hindering trash-recovery operations.
“Due to staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, safety issues related to the forecasted overnight snow and to prioritize resources to prepare for and respond to the inclement weather, curbside recycling, trash, yard waste and Christmas tree collection will not take place this week,” the city said in the release. “There will be no sliding of routes and days as previously communicated. Collection crews will be mobilized tonight and tomorrow to support and respond to the forecasted snow tomorrow.”
The city asked that residents hold their trash until collection resumes next week, but for urgent disposals, the city said residents can drop off small amounts of trash free-of-charge at the COVANTA Waste-to-Energy Facility (5301 Eisenhower Ave.) Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The city noted those hours could change based on weather conditions.
“City crews continue to respond to tree and brush damage due to Monday’s storm,” the release said. “The City has added arborist contractor resources and is adding bulk yard waste collection resources to assist in the collection of tree and brush. City refuse collection customers who need tree and brush collection will be able to submit a request via Alex311. Items must be properly prepared for collection to be picked up by City crews.”