As we approach the winter season, many have asked if we will turn any “snow day” into a virtual learning day instead. The Virginia Department of Education has established guidelines for how school districts can turn snow days into virtual learning days.
Any virtual learning day must include the same services for special needs students and English language learners as would be provided during a regular day.
Schools must provide access to meals for eligible students as would be provided during a regular day.
To meet these two requirements, staff would have to come into school buildings and parents would have to bring students to school to receive services or pick-up meals. This might not be safe if road conditions are poor.
Therefore, most winter weather events that cause schools to be closed will be considered “snow days,” where no scheduled instruction will take place. Assignment due dates, except for long-term assignments or projects, will be adjusted accordingly by the teacher. Parents and students are reminded that a snow day is a perfect opportunity to catch up or get ahead on previously assigned school work.
Should a winter weather event be prolonged, we may consider inserting virtual learning days later in the event (i.e. after the second or third snow day). These will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on weather conditions. Parents and staff will be informed in advance should we schedule virtual learning days.
We also ask parents to please keep in mind that when we are evaluating whether or not to close or delay school, we must consider road conditions for all areas of the county. Roanoke County can, at times, have widely varying weather conditions depending on elevation, and we must factor the safety of students in many different areas when making a decision. It is our goal to give parents as much advance notice as possible when making weather-related announcements. Depending on the nature of the weather event, we sometimes must make decisions with shorter notice.
When we make a weather-related announcement, we will send notifications by email, phone and text, depending on the parent’s communications preferences. In addition, parents can stay informed about weather-related closings or delays by visiting our website at www.rcps.us.