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Despite the forecast of snow, Fairfax County Public Schools did not close or have a delay on Tuesday morning. Snow fell all through rush hour — and was continuing to fall at 9 a.m. — as many frustrated parents and students complained about the decision.
Cars were spun out and stuck leading South Lakes Drive at Reston Parkway to be briefly closed. Motorists around Reston reported major delays.
Nearby, Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools, a similarly sized system, was delayed and then closed. Loudoun County Public Schools were open.
Assistant Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools Jeffrey Platenberg told WTOP that the school system was surprised by the amount of snow that fell Tuesday morning.
Administrators were expecting a dusting, but were surprised when the snow came down heavy and traffic became a major issue, Platenberg said.
He says things were already in motion and changing the plan late in the game would have been a bigger inconvenience for parents who had already left the house.
“We apologize for any inconvenience, but the timing of this was the worst possible situation we could have imagined,” Platenberg said.
The school district sent out an alert that some buses may be delayed. The county also sent an alert warning of multiple accidents, significant delays and advising “please use extreme caution while driving and expect a lengthy delay in your commute.”