Children playing in snow

With the weather getting colder, now is a good time to be prepared for potential inclement weather that may change school operations. Emergencies vary in scope, duration, and impact, and it may be necessary for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) to cancel, delay, close schools early, or move to remote learning. Emergency closures/delays place a burden on families and disrupt instruction, and as such, are avoided to the greatest extent practical. Below are some key things to remember to prepare for the possibility of weather impacts:

  • Code Red closings may occur this year. While we have not had two-hour delays for the past couple of years, they are now being reinstated and may also occur.
  • Please get to know the PWCS weather codes when closing school or delaying the opening of school.
  • The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority when making decisions. 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, with significant elevation changes. This means closings or delays may occur when conditions might not seem particularly bad in your immediate area.
  • Decisions are communicated as rapidly as possible. In consideration of families who need time to make proper arrangements, PWCS works to make decisions on delays and closings with as much notice as possible. Except in unusual circumstances demanding emergency measures, the decision will be made the night before, or not later than 4:30 a.m. on the morning of a closing or delay.
  • It is important to keep your contact and emergency contact information up to date in ParentVUE. If you need to make changes to your contact information, please contact your child’s school.
  • PWCS provides information about closings and delays in many ways including:
  • Email and text messages sent to parents/guardians (using the contact information on file.)
  • PWCS official social media channels: PWCS Facebook, Instagram and Twitter/X
  • Alerts on the PWCS homepage and each school webpage
  • Posted on PWCS-TV (channel 18 on Comcast and channel 36 on Fios)
  • Area radio and television stations
  • For more information, visit the PWCS Weather FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page.