School staff in Prince William and Stafford counties and the City of Manassas braced themselves for problems last weekend related to the Y2K computer bug.
And preparations over previous months appear to have paid off. Schools reported no problems with their computer systems, and students enjoyed an extra day off, with unseasonably warm weather as a bonus. The three jurisdictions allowed students to take Monday off in case of any unforeseen problems.
"We didn't have one instance of Y2K" problems, said Steve George, director of the Prince William County Public Schools data center. Around midnight Friday, the school systems made checks of individual schools and found nothing amiss. Students returned to class yesterday.
"Without preparation, we wouldn't have done so well," George said.
Most students appreciated the excess caution. Temperatures that reached 70 degrees Monday allowed students to try out the bicycles, skates and other gifts they received over the holidays.
At Leesylvania State Park on Monday, Alec Neal, 39, and his daughter Nyajiah, 6, had nearly an entire parking lot to themselves. While Nyajiah practiced riding her new two-wheeler with long plastic streamers trailing from the handlebars, her father watched and worked on his car.
"Any time it's 60 degrees during Christmas and New Year's, you can't complain," said Neal, who lives in Manassas and works at a group home in Fairfax County. Keeping students out of school for an extra day because of "millennium bug" concerns was a good decision, Neal said.
"That's an excellent reason, just to be safe," Neal said. "Why should the kids go back when one day wasn't going to hurt them?"
Nyajiah, a second-grader at Baldwin Elementary School in Manassas, also was enjoying the weather, riding in long, loopy circles through the parking lot.
"Sometimes it's sunny and sometimes it's cold, but I like it when it's sunny," she said.
In Dale City, sixth-grader Tiffany Simms, 11, also spent much of Monday on her bike.
"It's really beautiful," said Tiffany, who attends Godwin Middle School in Woodbridge. "I thought it was going to be cold this morning, but when I stepped out, it was nice and warm."
Tiffany's sister, Tiara, 7, got a chance to play with her new in-line skates, a Christmas present.
"It's pretty outside. The grass is getting green, and the trees are growing leaves!" said Tiara, a second-grader at Bel Air Elementary School in Woodbridge.
Their mother, Debra Simms, said the nice weather allowed her to take down all the Christmas lights around the house. "If it was cold, they would still be out there," said Simms, 36, a homemaker.