Albemarle County Schools Closed Today

Again. After teasing us after yesterday’s cancelation by saying schools would be on a two hour delay today, Albemarle’s reverse call system just called with the cancelation notification.

For those unfamiliar with the Albemarle County school system, there are quite a few rural roads over which buses must traverse. Apparently (and I’d love clarification) if any of these roads are deemed potentially unsafe, the entire school system – covering 726 square miles – closes.

Note that the City of Charlottesville is a completely separate school system – despite perennial discussions about merging the school systems – and they (as of the time of this posting) remain on a two hour delay.

Ice sends this region into chaos – Augusta, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson … all closed. WVIR and WCAV are competing for “most up to date” closing information 🙂 – although WCAV wins for having a direct link to the closings, (update) and WVIR wins for having the closings twenty minutes before WCAV. Thanks to the reader for pointing this out. *

A somewhat sarcastic aside – this wouldn’t have anything to do with the Kings Dominion Rule, would it?

The law in Virginia governing the opening of school is commonly known as “The Kings Dominion Rule.” Its a longstanding law designed to lengthen the tourist season through Labor Day. To go to school before Labor Day, you have to meet the conditions of a convoluted formula: A school division must have missed a total of 40 days of school in five of the past 10 years. We don’t have any five years that add up to 40 so we must go after Labor Day per state law.

We would prefer to go before Labor Day and end earlier. The School Board has asked our delegates to the General Assembly to have this law abolished. So far this has gone nowhere.

The state requires you go to school for 180 days. We go for 183 so that we can bank time against the possibility of bad weather. This means we don’t have snow days and will never have to make up days should we have a very bad weather year. (Cutting into spring break, Saturday school, extended school year are not options in Loudoun.) The extra days allow us to stay on a fixed calendar. Once we announce our calendar for the following year (usually in October) that’s it. It’s set in stone. There will be no changes.

* And thanks to my father-in-law for calling me and letting me know about the closings. 🙂 I tend to watch Bloomberg or CNBC in the morning.

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