Local school districts announce snow days for Thursday

Photo provided by Hampton City Schools

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Local city school districts are closely monitoring the forecast in order to formulate plans to make sure students are safe.

The following school systems in Hampton Roads have announced they will be closed Thursday, January 4: Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. Click here for the complete list of closings and delays on WAVY.com.

Each school district has teams that drive local roads to gauge how safe they are for buses. Administrators also confer with their city’s emergency management department before ultimately making the decision to cancel or delay classes.

“We look for snow accumulation, one, and if there was rain before there could be ice. We take that into account, but mainly in this area it has a lot to do with snow accumulation because the cities don’t have the equipment to remove snow from secondary roads,” said Portsmouth School’s Executive Director of Human Resources, Scott Ziegler.

Ziegler said that Portsmouth is deploying snow shovels, salt and safety equipment to all the schools. Jean Infantino with Chesapeake Public Schools said that they are gassing up generators and ensuring schools have rock salt for the sidewalks.

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The area has been experiencing frigid temperatures all week. Some local school districts started posting messages on social media early in the week and sent out robo calls reminding parents to dress their children warmly for the bus stop.