No ice, but Alb schools two hours late

It was a multi-pronged assessment of potentially hazardous road conditions that led top Albemarle school administrators to delay the opening of the public school system by two hours Friday, January 22. According to chief spokesperson Maury Brown, the County's 6-person road assessment team may or may not have found actual ice on roads, but three other factors weighed heavily in the decision:
• falling sleet in the vicinity of the Cismont Store in the northeast part of the County,
• a 4am AccuWeather prediction that the temperature might be 31 degrees at 6am, and
• one bus driver's self-reported claim that she injured herself in a fall on her Esmont home's icy stoop.

"Sometimes," says Brown, "things happen in Keswick and not Crozet. And visa versa. It's a big county, and we figured we'd err on the side of caution."

For her part, Brown got a call at 5:17am that Superintendent Pam Moran and Transportation Director Josh Davis had rendered their decision. That set in motion a wave of notifications and–- for many parents–- some schedule-busting alternative arrangements. All for a storm that delivered more bark than bite.

"A lot of times," says Brown, "hindsight is 20/20."

–rewritten at 3:34pm Friday

Original 6:50am report: Somewhere in Albemarle County there may be an icy road. Either that, or the mere threat of ice–- which has thus far failed to materialize around here–- might explain (since the announcement doesn't explain) why Albemarle County public schools have decided to open two hours late on Friday morning. Charlottesville schools, by contrast, have decided to brave the cold rain.


I think the school system should recieve a pat on the back for making sure our kids are safe!!! I didn't mind spending an extra two hours with my kids Friday morning.

the area is a little gun-shy right now when it comes to winter weather. When I was younger and live in NOVA they gave a 1 hour delay for 10inches of snow.....needless to say most everyone didnt go to school....few weeks later when it snowed a half inch....yup schools closed.


If it was icy and the school wasn't closed, I was not going to risk driving him the 9 miles to school anyway. The bus ride is OVER ONE HOUR (yes, Alb Cty), so I drive him every morning instead. He's at work with me today until my wife can pick him up after she gets out of work. On the way to work (just a bit north of my home) there is a dusting of snow and a pickup truck off the road into a tree - so I guess it might have been slick in some places.

After seeing some of the drivers in public buses and school buses that I have seen lately, I think a 2 hour delay for slick leaves on the side of the road is an extremely good idea.

I am going to assume that random drug testing is not performed on bus drivers very much in this area.

Albemarle County is finally AFTER YEARS OF CRITISISM seeing that playing it safe is better than sending the busses out getting our kids then turning them around to go back home..There are really bad back roads in the county Better safe than sorry...Kudos ALB CTY!

Maybe enough people died in the past trying to get their kids to school in 10 inches of snow, they figure an occasional missed day due to false alarm is better than the alternative.

Have you seen the speed that the bus drivers have to go in order to keep to their schedules, in many cases, to arrive early at the schools, confining the kids to the buses for 10 or 15 minutes?

Or heard some of them talk about this mythical "black ice" that
terrifies them?
"Oh, up North, they get snow, where we get ice....," that sort of nonsense. I bet it's a handful of drivers that set off this two-hour delayed opening b.s.

Im in the southern part of Alb Cty, and got to work on my usual route, and encountered no problems.. left home 20 minutes early too just to be on the safe side. The Northern part of the county got a little bit more than us as far as ice/snow/sleet... again Kudos to Alb Cty for taking into consideration the safety of our children. ;O)
Gasbag> they do random tinkle testing.. :O)

Call the director of transportation of the school system...he'll tell you how they come to the decisions they do...

Responsibility is a curious thing. Those with it are sometimes slow/unwilling to exercise it and those without it are quick to criticize it. The people who are tasked with making these decisions weigh the risks of getting to school safely. One bus or car (students do drive) slipping off the road or worse - and the entire community is crucifying them. Not to mention the insurance companies etc. Be thankful that people are concerned about the safety of the kids. One more thing - I applaud the bus drivers for having one of the toughest jobs out there and least rewarded or appreciated.
NOTE: I am not affiliated or employed in any of these cpapcities - I merely appreciate what people do to protect kids.

Driver, "black ice" is not mythical. Its simply very clear smooth ice on a surface such that you can't easily tell its there. I've been on it many times and its no fun driving thru it. It doesn't matter what kind of vehicle you have, a hard wind can push your vehicle on it.

A two hour delay isn't so bad and its good that they didn't panic and close completely. However I'm sure the roads north-west and south-west of Crozet were close enough to freezing that it was a good call they made.

It's important to keep in mind, as Albemarle native points out, that this is essentially a rural county. Roads are mostly flat, well-maintained, and have wide berms in the suburban areas. If your kids go to Woodbrook, Agnor Hurt, Hollymead, or Greer, the roads are pretty suburban. But Crozet, Brownsville, Scottsville, Red Hill, Yancey, Stony Point, etc., are serving rural areas. A lot of the roads are unpaved; they're in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains; they're narrow, they twist, and they rise and fall. They're difficult roads to begin with, and then you put some ice on them, and someone's children are at risk. We always hear about the rural counties to our west (Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge) closing down the night before predicted weather hits -- they do it because they have roads similar to ours.

I've grown tired of trying to explain to people who complain about these school closing that they live on the edge of town(forest lakes,hollymead,raintree etc) & have no idea what the county roads are like in the real outskirts.Many roads out there are unpaved,& extremely narrow & hilly.A two hour time delay is a good idea on days like this.

And to morris: Solid!