Fall 2018

Dear PWCS Parents and Guardians:

When bad weather or other emergency situations occur, it may be necessary for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) to cancel, delay, or close schools early. As winter approaches, below are five key things to remember:

  1. The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority: Any time a decision must be made regarding school closures and delays during a weather situation the primary consideration is safety. PWCS reviews information from emergency management, meteorologists, and state highway administrators about road conditions, and school personnel also inspect the conditions of roads throughout the county, sidewalks, and parking lots and bus lanes. Decisions are made based on countywide conditions and weather forecasts to ensure the safety of all students, staff, and residents across more than 350 square miles. This means closings may occur when conditions might not seem particularly bad in your immediate area.
  2. Parents and students should have a well-communicated plan in place: Children need to know where to go or what to do if a parent will not be home. Please do not bring students to school early during a delayed opening as staff will not be in the building.
  3. Decisions are communicated as rapidly as possible: PWCS aims to reach a decision as early as possible amid changing conditions and strives to get the word out between 5 and 5:30 a.m. in multiple ways. Due to the speed of updating, the official @PWCSnews Twitter account is generally the first and fastest mode of communication. Other communication channels will be updated as quickly as possible including email, text, website, other social media, and news stations. Please be aware, due to the large volume of emails sent, there will likely be a lag between the Twitter alert and receipt of an email in your inbox.
  4. You make the ultimate decision: As parents and guardians, if you feel conditions are unsafe and school is open, you have the option of not sending your child(ren) to school. Students will receive an excused absence. They will not be penalized academically but are expected to make up all assignments.
  5. Please visit pwcs.edu for additional information. For information about how inclement weather may impact the School Aged Child Care and Next Generation programs, Preschool Programs, or the PWCS Aquatics Center, please visit the “Closings, Delays, and Emergencies” page or refer to the links above.

We take the safety of your children, and our staff seriously, and we appreciate your patience and support as we enter another winter weather season.


Steven L. Walts
Superintendent of Schools