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To Close or Not to Close: School Administrators Prepare to Make - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

To Close or Not to Close: School Administrators Prepare to Make Call

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As transportation crews get ready for winter weather, school administrators are doing the same.

Decision makers in both Albemarle and Charlottesville spoke with NBC29 about what goes into the call to close schools. Both say in the end it's all about keeping people safe. As Tuesday's projected winter weather moves in, Charlottesville and Albemarle County schools are executing plans to keep students safe. That means potentially closing schools, which is often not an easy call to make.

"The probability is that the weather will not have started by the time we have to make a decision for schools, so we'll have to make a decision based on a forecast," said Dean Tistadt, chief operating officer for Albemarle County Public Schools.

That decision comes with a lot of input.

"We get reports from transportation facilities, police, everyone is feeding information in,” said Ed Gillaspie, with Charlottesville City Schools.

Tistadt says the divisions often consult with each other.

"We want to know what their decision is most likely going to be because frankly the more we are together, the better it is for everyone else,” Tistadt said.

The decision is especially tough for Albemarle County schools with such a diverse geographical layout. But in every winter weather situation, safety is the top priority.

"You have 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds who have very little experience driving in winter weather conditions and those are the people we have to be most concerned about as we make those decision,” Tistadt said.

Administrators say there most likely won't be any decisions made until about 5 a.m.

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