Norfolk Schools criticized for timing of snow day announcement

Generic school bus image (WAVY News)
Generic school bus image (WAVY News)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A lot of parents used Facebook to vent their frustration about Norfolk Public Schools’ snow day announcement for Monday, March 3. Some say NPS didn’t give them enough notice.

NPS announced Sunday night  schools would operate under a delay Monday, then posted a new announcement at 5:57 a.m. Monday saying the schools would be closed. That was too late for some parents who say they already had kids at the bus stop, or had planned for their kids to go to school for half a day.

Here are some of the comments WAVY.com pulled from the Norfolk Schools Facebook page:

Anna wrote, “Your phone system manages to call us three times last night to let us know about a half day of school, but you don’t manage to make a decision about closure until 6 a.m. when I’ve already woken up my child. Disappointed.”

In the school system’s defense, Katie wrote, “I can’t believe the amount of parents that are complaining about the phone call this morning and multiple ones last night. People need to grow up and understand that everything doesn’t always work properly and they need to understand that NPS does the best they can to get the info out in multiple places and in a timely manner!”

The school system did respond to some posts, basically thanking those who offered both supportive comments and constructive criticism.

Late Monday night,  WAVY.com spoke to Elizabeth Mather from Norfolk Public Schools.

“As other local districts do, we were monitoring national weather reports, trying to pinpoint when the storm would start,” she said. “We realize when districts announce in the morning, it can be tough for people.”

She also urged WAVY.com to look at other districts’ pages, because everyone gets comments during weather events. We checked Virginia Beach’s page and didn’t see as many comments. Norfolk did announce Tuesday March 4th’s snow day on Monday night around 8 p.m.

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