Parents scramble as schools dismiss early

Posted at 7:46 PM, Jan 25, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- When school systems across our area decided to close early on Friday,  it forced many parents and guardians to scramble and make some back up plans for their children.

CBS 6 News wanted to know how school systems reach the conclusion to shut down early and send children home.

Many schools did not hesitate in releasing students early and cancelling afterschool activities. Superintendents from across our area monitor the weather and stay in touch with one another before making the call. School systems across our area want to make sure students get home before conditions grow worse. When you add it all up it boils down to safety.

“Any parent or staff member in our system is required to put a phone number in the system and an e-mail address and we put in those messages in terms of an email and a robo-call and that blasts everyone when we hit “go” on the computer,” Andy Jenks with Henrico County Public Schools said.

School systems across our area want to make sure students get home safely before conditions grow worse.

“There is a system in place to alert parents of a closing, or early delay or cancellation of afterschool activities. It is called Alert Now," Nicole Bell with Petersburg Public Schools said. "It is a Robo calling system so if there is a shift or change in the school day we will send that alert out to let parents know what is going on.”

Richmond city schools cancelled all evening activities, including their organized youth basketball.

In fact, all hoop games have been cancelled through the weekend. Also, the city's community centers closed at 6 p.m. and will remain closed throughout the weekend.