In general, APS will only post/send messages if there is a change in normal operating status. For situations where everything is open/operating on a normal schedule, we will not send or post notifications.
In case of snow, ice, or other unusual conditions such as power outages and excessive heat, school officials may decide to close school, delay school opening, or send students home early.
Arlington Public Schools considers the following when determining an alteration in the operating status for the school division:
- Winter weather forecast (onset time, amount and type of precipitation, etc.)
- Road conditions (Arlington County, Interstates and surrounding jurisdictions
- Ambient temperatures at bus stops
- Transportation availability
- Regional considerations (e.g., other school divisions, federal government, etc.)
- Potential impacts to utilities
- Academic schedule
News about these decisions is communicated as soon as the decision is made in these ways:
- Posted here, on the home page, and on all school sites.
- Sent by e-mail and text to APS School Talk subscribers (families, staff and community).
More about School Talk
- Recorded on the telephone hot line, 703-228-4277, in English and in Spanish.
- Posted on the Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FIOS Channel 41 School-Community Bulletin Board.
- Called in to local radio stations.
- Called in to television stations: Channel 4, Channel 5, Channel 7, Channel 8 and Channel 9.
Here is what happens in each situation when the school schedule changes:
Schools Closed– All school buildings are closed. The decision is usually announced by 5 a.m. on all information outlets. Extended Day and Check-in are also closed. All school activities are canceled unless otherwise announced. Administrative offices usually remain open.
Delayed Opening- Schools will open two hours later than usual. The decision is usually announced by 5 a.m. The morning bus route schedule is also delayed by two hours. Field trips are canceled. Breakfast is not served. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late. On any early release day, the early release is canceled and students remain until the regular daily dismissal time.
Early Dismissal- Schools will dismiss two hours early if conditions require. This decision is normally announced by 11:30 a.m. Extended Day will close at 4 p.m. Extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and recreation programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. If it is Wednesday, elementary students will be released at the usual early release time.
All residents are asked to clear sidewalks as quickly as possible following snow and ice storms. Sidewalks must be clear in order for students to walk to school and to bus stops safely.
- Plan for Make-Up Days – outlined in the Arlington Public Schools Handbook, available on our Publications page
- Arlington County Government Winter Weather Preparedness
- Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Closing Policy — specifies when DPR programs and activities will be canceled, delayed or postponed depending on the actions of the County Government and Arlington County Public Schools
- Arlington County Government Snow Removal Information
- Arlington County Government Alert System (Arlington Alert does not provide notification of school closing or delays and is maintained by Arlington County Government as an emergency notification system for residents of Arlington County.)