FAIRFAX, Va. - They are bracing for another kind of storm in Fairfax County. Parents and students in the county have gained a well-earned reputation as a "tough crowd" when it comes to how Fairfax County Public Schools have closed and have not closed in past snowstorms.
This time, school officials said they are ready for whatever awaits them from the impending storm as well as the storm of opinions on social media.
If you rewind back to last February 19, a snowstorm hit our area and several local school districts closed as a result. But Fairfax County did not and officials certainly heard about it.
People were not just talking about it, but they were tweeting – a lot. So much that at one point, the hashtag #CloseFCPS started trending on Twitter worldwide.
This time, Fairfax County school officials said they are prepared. The school system has 13 snow days budgeted into its calendar and the good news is they have taken absolutely none so far this school year, which puts them in a better position right out of the gate.
The upcoming major snowstorm is expected to be a multi-day disruption meaning closures could reach into next week if the snow can't be cleared quickly.
As for Friday, Fairfax County Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Jeff Platenberg told FOX 5 he will have a conference call before dawn on Friday with a decision announced by 4:30 a.m. at the latest.
But no matter what they decide, school officials here said they expect to hear from their supporters and their haters no matter what they decide.
“We're a big family and that's what families do – they praise you and they give you proper criticism when you need it,” said Platenberg. “We get a lot of feedback from our communities. There is a high expectation in our communities, but we believe that is what makes it so rich to live in this region.”
If you thought that #CloseFCPS hashtag was a thing of the past, you will have to guess again. Someone created a @CloseFCPS Twitter account last year and it has reactivated and the hashtag started tweeting out once again.
School officials insist they will make their decision based on snow and not on an avalanche of tweets.