NORFOLK -- Schools across the region say they are working to ensure faculty and students are safe when below-zero temperatures and wind gusts put Hampton Roads in a deep-freeze Tuesday morning.
Norfolk Public School officials say they are receiving weather information from the Norfolk Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response as well as the National Weather Service regarding predictions of extreme cold conditions.
"Safety of students and staff is always the top priority when making decisions regarding changing school schedules due to weather," spokeswoman Elizabeth Mather told WVEC.com.
Mather says facilities supervisors will be checking schools' heating systems today and early Tuesday morning, and school bus drivers are set to conduct pre-run checks to ensure that buses are running properly before leaving to pick up children, if school remains in session as normal.
Officials with Virginia Beach City Public Schools say transportation supervisors will begin traveling the roads across the city at 3 a.m. Those findings are reported to the Director of Transportation and Chief of School Division Services, who then make a recommendation to the superintendent.
No changes are planned yet for Newport News Public Schools but officials say HVAC systems are automated so plant services' staff can see and review room temperatures in their buildings.
In addition, custodial staff and teachers can alert plant services if classrooms and other areas seem to be too cool or warm.
Hampton City School officials say decisions about delaying or canceling classes Tuesday will be made by 5 a.m.
Chesapeake Public Schools and Suffolk Public Schools say they will continue to monitor the weather.
Building supervisors are checking heating systems today in anticipation of the colder temperatures.
School bus drivers will be inspecting and warming their buses earlier Tuesday morning to ensure that buses are operating properly before leaving to pick up children, officials said.
Officials with Isle of Wight County Schools also say the safety of their students and staff is a top priority and they are monitoring weather reports received from the National Weather Service and the Isle of Wight County Emergency Management team to determine the best option for school operations Tuesday. UPDATE: All Isle of Wight County Schools and employees will be on a 2-hour delay Tuesday. All outdoor activities are also cancelled for Tuesday.
Williamsburg-James City Public School officials say they will make a decision to close or delay school before 6 a.m. UPDATE: WJCC Schools will open two hours late and outside activities will be cancelled on Tuesday.
The York County School Division is monitoring the National Weather Service’s predictions of extremely cold conditions with a wind chill advisory for Tuesday. Staff are checking each school’s heating systems to ensure they are functioning properly. Transportation staff will be taking extra steps to prepare school buses for the cold temperatures, officials said. UPDATE: All YCSD schools and offices are now scheduled to open on a two-hour delay Tuesday.
Student safety is the primary consideration when determining whether to delay or cancel school, and that includes students waiting for school buses or walking to and from school.
Parents and guardians need to dress children properly for very cold weather, including coats, hats and gloves, school officials say.