Friday, September 14, 8:30 p.m. Update

All schools and offices will be back to normal operations on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018.

 I’m sure you join us in breathing a sigh of relief that Hurricane Florence did not cause Henrico any harm, but also in sending positive thoughts to those in other areas who were not so fortunate. Though the rain and winds have become significantly heavier this evening, no doubt many of you noticed that today’s weather conditions certainly would not have hampered schools from operating as usual today.

Please know that we made a decision and announcement on Tuesday based on the best state and local weather information available to us at that time. We benefit from detailed information prepared by people whom we think are the best forecasters and emergency planners in town. We believe in their expert advice to make and communicate plans early when a hurricane is approaching. So that’s what we did when we ultimately decided several days ago not to have school on Friday. Tuesday’s information painted a much different picture for central Virginia than what actually ended up happening today.

We know that school cancelations can pose challenges for families. We thank you for your patience, and we apologize for any inconvenience that closing may have caused your family.  Please know that we believed such an early decision was the right thing to do based on the forecast available to us at the time, along with years of feedback from parents who tell us they need as much time as possible to secure alternate arrangements with childcare or with work. This experience will help inform our future decision-making and to live up to your expectations for good planning.

If you’d like to share your thoughts and ideas, our superintendent, Dr. Amy Cashwell, wants to hear from you. Send an e-mail to superintendent@henrico.k12.va.us and she’ll be sure to read it.

Thank you again for your understanding and for your support of Henrico County Public Schools!

Andy Jenks
Director, Communications and Public Relations

Wednesday, September 12, 3:55 p.m. Update:

This message is to confirm our plans for the remainder of this week:

Thursday, Sept. 13: Normal school day. However, all after-school activities are now cancelled.

Friday, Sept. 14: Henrico County Public Schools will be CLOSED for all students and staff. This includes 12-month employees (Code 0).

Saturday, Sept. 15: Schools CLOSED for community activities and events.

Sunday, Sept 16: Schools CLOSED for community activities and events.

Monday, Sept. 17 and beyond: To be determined.

Thursday, Sept. 20, 4 p.m.: School Board public hearing to solicit input regarding Tuckahoe District candidates. For full details on the revised timeline to select the Tuckahoe District representative, click here:http://henricoschools.us/hurricane-florence-prompts-school-board-to-revise-timeline-to-select-tuckahoe-district-representative/

Given the updated weather forecast, we have received a small amount of feedback that our decision to close on Friday was made too early, or that we should reconsider. However, we receive information from numerous state and local sources, including the Henrico County Office of Emergency Management. As of this morning, Henrico OEM is still anticipating rain along with windy conditions beginning on Friday. This means an increased chance of power outages, downed trees and localized flooding.

We believe in the advice of emergency management experts to make plans early and to communicate those plans early. In this case we announced our plan approximately three days prior to landfall based on the best available information at the time. The safety of our students and staff will always be our top priority, and this decision allowed families ample time to take precautions and plan accordingly. Separately, certain Henrico County schools may also be needed as emergency shelters, but that is not currently in effect at this time.

Like you, we will remain vigilant as the storm approaches. If a major hurricane ends up producing “only” rain in Henrico County, then we will be very thankful that the situation did not end up being worse.

To stay up to date on school system information there are several sources:

Voicemail, email, text messages sent to your contact information on file.

Website: www.henricoschools.us
Facebook: @HenricoCountyPublicSchools
Instagram: @henricocountyschools
Twitter: @HenricoSchools

(On social media, search #ReadyHenrico and #FlorenceVA for up-to-date local information.)

Detailed information about the school system’s methods of communication are also available here:http://henricoschools.us/communications/

To sign up for emergency alerts by Henrico County government’s “Code Red” community notification system, visitwww.henricoalert.org

Tuesday, September 11, 5 p.m. update:

In response to Hurricane Florence, we have several changes to announce that we hope will assist with efforts that you and your family are making in order to stay safe.

  • Thursday, Sept. 13: Normal school day*. However, all after-school activities are now cancelled.
  • Friday, Sept. 14: Henrico County Public Schools will be CLOSED for all students and staff.
  • Saturday, Sept. 15: Schools CLOSED for community activities and events.
  • Sunday, Sept 16: Schools CLOSED for community activities and events.
  • Monday, Sept. 17 and beyond: To be determined.

*We will continue to monitor the storm and its anticipated impact on Central Virginia. If there are additional changes to announce, particularly as it relates to what is currently a normal school day on Thursday, Sept. 13, then we will make that announcement as soon as possible on Wednesday.

Henrico County Public Schools is making these changes in response to the latest available state and local information that indicate the potential for damaging waters, winds and power outages.

#ReadyHenrico

To stay up to date on any potential countywide school system changes later this week, there are several sources:

Voicemail, email, text messages sent to your contact information on file.

Website: www.henricoschools.us
Facebook: @HenricoCountyPublicSchools
Instagram: @henricocountyschools
Twitter: @HenricoSchools

(On social media, search #ReadyHenrico for up-to-date local information.)

Detailed information about the school system’s methods of communication are also available here: http://henricoschools.us/communications/

To sign up for emergency alerts by Henrico County government’s “Code Red” community notification system, visit www.henricoalert.org

Monday, September 11 update:

Henrico County Public Schools is monitoring the path of Hurricane Florence and its potential impact on the metro-Richmond area. Like you, our schools are taking precautions this week. These precautions include:

  • Inspecting and clearing drains, gutters and retention ponds.
  • Securing loose items.
  • Checking sump pumps, generators and other debris-removal equipment.

Additionally, we are advising our teachers and staff to take steps to prepare and secure their classrooms as the storm approaches.

Looking ahead: Please be sure that your school has updated paperwork on file such as early dismissal forms or authorization to release forms that reflect your wishes in the event of an emergency closing.

For additional information about any potential countywide changes later this week, there are several sources:

Voicemail, email, text messages sent to the contact information on file at your school.

Website: www.henricoschools.us
Facebook: @HenricoCountyPublicSchools
Instagram: @henricocountyschools
Twitter: @HenricoSchools

Detailed information about methods of communication are also available here: http://henricoschools.us/communications/