Staying Updated on School Closings through Alert Systems

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Winter weather often means school delays or school snow days. For parents, it's more convenient the sooner they know their child's schedule. The good news is that if the roads aren't safe, school employees will send out alerts to those parents in a number of ways. The type of alerts depends on the school system.

When weather like what the Valley experienced on Friday starts, superintendents make a decision on the school day schedule and can send out text alerts or emails.

On Friday, Dr. Scott Kizner with Harrisonburg City Schools sent an email to explain the weather policy. He said the school system makes a decision by 6 a.m. and safety is always the most important factor in that decision.

Dr. Kizner said that the main thing is to help ease the surprise of a schedule change.

"I think it was Yogi Berra who said I don't mind surprises as long as people let me know about it first,” said Dr. Kizner, “And one thing about the weather there's a lot of surprises, so we try to make the best decision and the one factor that will always drive our decisions will be what do we think is the most safe for our children and staff."

Parents can sign up for text alerts, phone calls or emails on the Harrisonburg City School's website.

In the Waynesboro school system, there are more than 1600 people signed up for the alert system and in two weeks, those parents can also sign up for text alerts. Right now, they can get an email or a phone call about a delay or closing.

Rockingham County Schools also has a system where parents can get a text, voice message or email.

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