Officials for Fairfax County Schools issued an apology Tuesday for holding school on time, saying the snowy weather turned out to be worse than expected.
In the letter, officials said “we apologize for the difficulties the weather caused this morning.”
They went on to say that “significant area government entities were coordinating at a very early hour.”
“The decision was made with the best information we had very early this morning. Needless to say, the conditions were far worse than anticipated.”
The school system drew sharp criticism on social media with the hastag #closeFCPS as parents and students expressed frustration that schools there were not delayed or closed. In contrast, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard county schools closed for the day.
The Fairfax County schools apology letter went on to say that “weather conditions are expected to improve around midday.”
“At this time, we are planning to dismiss schools at their normal dismissal time, however, we are continuing to closely monitor the situation and will keep parents apprised.”
The letter also stated, “we are aware that people are asking us to cancel school.”
“Students are safest at school when parents have not had a chance to make alternate plans for their child’s return home from school. However, should you wish to pick up your child early, we will accommodate you.”
It ended, “again, we apologize for the difficulties experienced this morning and we thank you for your patience.”
At first, school officials in Loudoun and Fairfax counties did not immediately release any official response or reason as to why they had not closed or delayed schools for the day.
On social media, there were plenty of comments and the hastag #closeFCPS gained popularity. Some students appeared to tweet that teachers were not at schools, and there were several reports of delayed buses.
— O-MONEY (@OsmirDiazz) January 6, 2015
— Brennan Vaughan (@Bre_von) January 6, 2015
Some in Loudoun County commented, referring to Wayde B. Byard, the spokesman for the school system there.
The wayde who stole christmas
— Madhu (@miithaaaaaaa) January 6, 2015
If I can't even go up my driveway, how do you expect me to go to school Wayde? #CloseLCPS
— Jonathan Weese (@JonWeese) January 6, 2015
So confused and disappointed. What makes you think that it's actually safe for us TEEN drivers to get to school on time? Come on Wayde.
— Annika Erin Schwarz (@AnnikaS13) January 6, 2015