Press Club
Snowy Clarendon on Monday (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

For the third day in a row, Arlington Public Schools students — and those that follow APS closures, like local preschools — will get another snow day.

The school system announced the closure shortly after 5 p.m., with the possibility of freezing rain in the forecast and with many neighborhood streets still covered in snow and ice.

From APS:

Due to current neighborhood road and sidewalk conditions, all schools and offices will be closed on Wed, January 5, 2022. APS is working with Arlington County to clear all roads as quickly as possible, and while most primary and secondary roads are clear, many neighborhood roads have not been plowed and are not passable by buses. Many sidewalks are still not safe for pedestrians. Crews are working extended shifts, with limited staffing available, to clear all roadways as quickly as possible.

Unless otherwise directed by their supervisors, custodial and maintenance staff should report to work at their scheduled time, and all custodians should report to work at 6 a.m. Extracurricular activities, games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County programs and operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

Fairfax County, Alexandria, Prince William County and other public school systems have also already announced closures for Wednesday.

Arlington County’s snow plow map shows that only a portion of local roads have been cleared as of Tuesday evening. Many haven’t seen a single plow since the start of Monday’s winter storm. (The county prioritizes primary and secondary roads as part of its snow removal plan.)

“Hours of sun and temps above freezing today helped crews with the storm cleanup but work will continue on refreezing roads into the morning,” Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tweeted tonight. “Avoid unnecessary travel, giving plows the needed space and time.”

Previously, the county said its plow crews were experiencing staffing shortages due to Covid cases.

Arlington snow plow map as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Uncleared streets are in red. (via Arlington County)
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Snow in Westover (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Students at Arlington public schools will have another snow day on Tuesday.

School was also cancelled today, which would have been the first day back from the winter break, due to the winter storm. Unlike students in Alexandria, Arlington students are so far not being required to attend virtual classes.

More from Arlington Public Schools:

All APS schools and offices will be closed Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. Both in-person and Virtual Learning Program classes are canceled. Unless otherwise directed by their supervisors, custodial and maintenance staff should report to work at their scheduled time, and all custodians should report to work at 6 a.m. Extracurricular activities, games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County programs and operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

An expected refreeze overnight could make for hazardous driving conditions. Plow crews in Arlington continue to work to clear snow from local roads, focusing for now on primary and secondary roads while neighborhood streets remain snow-covered.

APS joins Fairfax County, Prince William County and a number of other major D.C. public school systems in announcing Tuesday closures this afternoon. In Alexandria, schools will be closed but the district will again be providing virtual classes.

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Yorktown High School in the snow (file photo)

(Updated at 6 p.m.) Arlington Public Schools will be closed Monday, the school system announced Sunday evening.

The closure decision was made as Arlington is under a Winter Storm Warning, with heavy snow expected to start falling early Monday morning. Some 3-7 inches of accumulation is possible, according to the National Weather Service

More from an APS email to families:

Due to the Winter Weather Warning and based on the anticipated snowfall beginning in the early morning hours through midday, all APS schools and offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Unless otherwise directed by their supervisors, custodial and maintenance staff should report to work at their scheduled time, and all custodians should report to work at 6 a.m. Extracurricular activities, games, team practices, field trips, adult education classes, and programs in schools and on school grounds are canceled. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County programs and operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.

Among other major D.C. area school systems, Fairfax County, Prince William County and Alexandria also announced this evening that they would be closed tomorrow for in-person classes, though Alexandria public schools will be open for virtual classes.

Forecasters say travel will be especially tricky around the time when students would have been going to school on Monday morning.

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Morning Notes

Distance Learning Only for APS — “Due to inclement weather… Level 1, in-person learning support, Level 2 Career & Technical Education students and staff supporting these programs will temporarily revert to distance learning.” [Arlington Public Schools]

County Government Open — “Arlington County Government offices, courts, & facilities are OPEN Friday, 02-19-2021. Courts will open at 10AM. All facilities will follow normal operating hours.” [Twitter]

Be Careful Out There — “Northern Virginia crews continue to clear and treat roads overnight, for both some additional wintry precipitation as well as refreeze from low temperatures. Drivers are asked to continue to limit travel if possible, or to use extreme caution and be aware of the potential for slick pavement, even where surfaces appear clear or were previously treated.” [VDOT]

Doses May Be Delayed — “Virginia is seeing delays in this week’s vaccine shipments due to severe winter weather in the Mid-Atlantic region and across the country. The Virginia Department of Health says the state will likely see a delay in the delivery of approximately 106,800 doses, due to distribution channels in the Midwest and elsewhere that are currently shut down.” [InsideNova]

Architectural Review of HQ2 Phase 2 — ” It very intentionally does not look like anything else in Pentagon City or Crystal City, or anywhere else in the region. The style, a populist, jazzy take on high-tech modernism, isn’t aimed at architecture critics, but at the public, which shows remarkable forbearance to the predations of large corporations so long as they have a reputation for being innovative and forward thinking.” [Washington Post]

County Board Members Endorse Candidate — “Alexandria City Council member Elizabeth Bennett-Parker has picked up the endorsement of two Arlington County Board members in her quest for the 45th District House of Delegates seat. Board members Libby Garvey and Katie Cristol endorsed the candidacy.” [InsideNova]

New Spanish Publication on the Pike — “As part of its increased business support efforts, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) has launched a new publication dedicated to supporting the area’s Hispanic business community. The publication, Boletín, is a small booklet of resources and information specific to those Spanish speaking businesses serving Columbia Pike’s residents.” [CPRO]

Arlington Man Arrested for Armed Robberies — “An Arlington man was arrested last night and is facing charges in connection with a series of recent armed robberies. Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau determined that in three of the four robberies, the suspect approached the victim, displayed a firearm and took their personal property. In the other case, the suspect took a victim’s purse by force.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

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(Updated at 9 a.m.) What was supposed to be snow is actually falling as sleet this morning, but the change in precipitation is not dampening the jubilation of local students, who now have the day off.

Arlington Public Schools announced shortly after 5 a.m. that it’s a snow day, even for remote learning.

“In-person and distance learning are canceled for all students today, Thursday, Feb. 18, due to inclement weather,” the school system said. “APS school buildings and offices will be closed… All in-person learning support programs, athletic activities, team practices, in-person technology support and other activities in schools and on school grounds are canceled.”

Via social media, APS explained that it was following the lead of the federal government, which is also closed today, and taking into account the forecast for more sleet and freezing rain as the day goes on.

According to the officials National Weather Service measurement at Reagan National Airport, 0.3 inches of snow has fallen so far this morning.

Across the county, most main roads are mostly slushy, thanks to the efforts of snow clearing crews. Many side roads have not been treated and are treacherous. Residents are being urged to stay home or exercise extreme caution if driving today.

“Yet, again, Virginia State Police is encouraging folks to hold off on traveling until conditions improve,” state police said last night.

A number of crashes have been reported this morning, including one that closed a portion of Carlin Springs Road at N. Galveston Street after a car reportedly spun off the roadway and crashed, injuring the driver.

Dominion Energy says it is prepared to respond to power outages in Northern Virginia, should freezing rain cause trees and branches to fall and power lines to be knocked out.

Arlington County government facilities, meanwhile, are closed, though the local government is still operating on a virtual basis. Arlington County’s trash and recycling service is not running today, and will instead be delayed a day and will resume Friday, with Thursday’s routes.

Buses, including ART and Metro buses, are operating on modified schedules.

As of 8:25 a.m., sleet was continuing to fall, with some freezing rain mixing in. The frozen precipitation is expected to continue through Friday morning.

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Morning Notes

Schools Closed, Federal Gov’t on Delay — Due to anticipated icy conditions this morning, Arlington Public Schools has closed schools, though distance learning is still on. Federal government offices have a 10 a.m. delayed opening. [Twitter, Twitter]

Arlington Xmas Decorations Go Viral — Two Arlington homes, next door to one another, have very different approaches to holiday decorating, as seen in a tweet that went viral. [Twitter]

Might Mayor Pete Live in Arlington? — “Pete and Chasten have an affinity for airports — Pete proposed to Chasten at O’Hare in Chicago and Chasten proposed to Pete at an airport in Berlin — so why not live walking distance from DCA? Besides having a great beer bar and Synetic Theater, the area also known as Crystal City is a major transportation hub, which could work in Pete’s favor as he starts his new role.” [Washingtonian, Twitter]

Bill Would Strip Lee’s Name from Arlington House — Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s name is likely to soon be removed from Lee Highway in Arlington, and potentially from his former home in Arlington National Cemetery as well. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) has introduced legislation that would rename what’s currently known as “Arlington House: The Robert E. Lee Memorial” as just “Arlington House.” Arlington County is in the process of removing an illustration of the house, which critics say is a symbol of slavery, from its logo and seal. [Press Release, Twitter]

Wreaths on the Way — The wreaths for this weekend’s Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery are currently making their way to Arlington from Maine via convoy. [Twitter, Facebook]

Funeral for Vietnam War Hero — “Despite the winter elements that hit the [D.C. area] Wednesday morning, Medal of Honor recipient Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins was given modified military funeral honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Adkins died from COVID-19 earlier this year in April at the age of 86.” [WJLA]

Local Nonprofit Gets Grant — “The Arlington-based nonprofit organization, Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT) announced their latest financial contribution from the Arlington Women’s Civic Alliance (AWCA) to support LLT’s leadership training and college readiness programs. ” [Press Release]

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Update at 2:35 p.m. — Kids will be back in class (virtually) tomorrow.

“Our service provider repaired the damaged cable overnight and restored service late this morning,” Arlington Public Schools said Wednesday afternoon. “As of 1 p.m., APS network services have been restored. Distance learning will resume for all students, tomorrow, Oct. 22.”

Earlier: A fiber optic cable cut in Vienna has led to the cancellation of distance learning today.

Arlington Public Schools says the network outage caused by the “major fiber cut” has knocked out systems required for remote classes.

“Our Internet Service Provider has not been able to restore service and is continuing to work to resolve the issue,” APS said in an email to families. As of last night, the school system said “there is no estimate for restoration.”

Meal services and high school pools are unaffected by the closure. APS is, however, pushing back the deadline for some families make back-to-school selections online.

“Due to the network outage, today’s deadline for making Level 2 selections in ParentVUE for students in grades PreK-5 and select CTE courses has been extended to Fri, Oct. 23,” APS said.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and again, thank you for your patience,” the school email concluded. “We will continue to provide updates today and will notify you when service is restored.”

Arlington County’s website, meanwhile, is still down as of 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) Arlington Public Schools are closing starting Monday and are expected to remain closed through the end of spring break in April.

The school system made the announcement shortly after noon on Friday. APS previously cancelled or postponed non-essential events due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Falls Church City Schools are also closing. Alexandria City Public Schools made a similar announcement around the same time.

Elsewhere, Fairfax County closed schools Friday and cancelled all school trips and extracurricular activities. Loudoun County closed its schools from Thursday until March 20. Schools in the District will be closed the remainder of the month starting March 16, and all public schools in Maryland are closing from March 16 through March 27.

APS and Falls Church City Schools sent the following announcement to parents.

Dear APS Families and Staff:

In response to growing concerns and anxiety in our community about the coronavirus (COVID-19), Arlington Public Schools and Falls Church City Public Schools have aligned, and in close collaboration with other Northern Virginia school divisions, will close beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. The present plans are to remain closed through Spring Break, with students scheduled to return on Tue, April 14, 2020. We will continue to evaluate and monitor the situation on a daily basis and will provide an update on our plans as new information is available.

Given all the information available now, including other closures throughout the National Capital Region that impact our staff and families, we believe this is the best decision to make at this time.

All of us, school administrators, staff, and parents, want the same outcome–keeping our kids and community safe.

Each of our divisions will send additional logistical details of the closure to our staff and families later today. Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.

Sincerely,

Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent, Arlington County Public Schools

Peter J. Noonan Ed.D.
Superintendent, Falls Church City Public Schools

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Students who attend the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program and the Shriver Program, at the new Heights Building in Rosslyn, are staying home today.

The building is closed, Arlington Public Schools said in an email to families (below), after a contractor accidentally broke a sprinkler line, causing the library, gymnasium and some classrooms to flood. The closure may stretch into Wednesday if repairs and cleanup from the water damage are not completed in time.

APS plans to notify families by 6 p.m. tonight whether school will be back in session tomorrow.

The $100 million building opened just in time for the start of the school year this past September. More from APS:

The Heights Building, including H-B Woodlawn, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Program and administrative offices, will be closed Tuesday, February 18, due to an accidental break in a sprinkler line caused by a contractor performing work on Monday. The break caused water damage in the library, gymnasium and adjacent classrooms. Repairs and clean-up are in progress. Unless otherwise directed, essential personnel should report to work at their scheduled time on Tuesday, and custodians should report to work at 6 a.m. Extracurricular activities, games, team practices, field trips and other scheduled activities for H-B Woodlawn and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Program at The Heights Building are also cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep families informed of the status. Families will be notified by 6 p.m. on Tuesday regarding the operating status for Wednesday, February 19.

Update at 4:30 p.m. — The building and the programs will remain closed on Wednesday, Arlington Public Schools just announced.

Hat tip to anonymous. Photo via Arlington County.

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(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) A large water transmission main serving Arlington ruptured early this morning amid falling temperatures, prompting major closures.

The water main break was first reported around 4:30 a.m. on the Arlington side of Chain Bridge. The northern end of N. Glebe Road, a portion of Chain Bridge Road and Chain Bridge itself were all expected to remain closed throughout the morning rush hour as a result.

(Chain Bridge and Chain Bridge Road has partially reopened as of 9:45 a.m. for drivers heading to and from D.C. and Fairfax County, VDOT said via Twitter.)

The rupture caused a portion of N. Glebe Road, on the hill leading to Chain Bridge, to collapse.

Large water transmission pipes run under the Chain Bridge, bringing water from the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant in D.C. into Arlington. The pipe that burst was a 36-inch transmission main, significantly larger than the typical 12-inch residential water main, WTOP reported.

Though as of 6:35 a.m. Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) reported that “crews have stabilized the transmission main break and pressure is being restored to County water lines,” much of the Arlington’s water service was impacted and nearly half of the county remains under a precautionary boil water advisory.

The boil water advisory is “expected to last until at least Sunday, after a series of testing,” according to Arlington Alert.

The closure of Glebe Road, meanwhile, is currently expected to last at least into the weekend.

The repair of the water main is expected to stretch into late Saturday or even into Sunday, DES Chief Operating Officer Mike Moon tells ARLnow. The road could remain closed until Tuesday, though there’s also a possibility it reopens this weekend, Moon said.

More permanent repairs to the road may be necessary even after it reopens, according to Moon. DES officials are still assessing the situation and expect to provide more information to the public on Saturday.

“It’s a major repair,” said DES spokeswoman Jessica Baxter. “Crews are working as fast as possible… but we don’t have a [solid] timeline for the repair and the restoration of the roadway.”

Moon noted that water service has been restored to most of Arlington thanks to redundancy in the system. There are three large transmission pipes that run from D.C. to Arlington — two hanging under the bridge, one under the river — that supply the county’s water, and there are multiple paths that the water takes into Arlington once its reached the Virginia side of the Potomac.

Arlington Public Schools, meanwhile, have closed today (Friday) due to the lack of water service, though football games will be played tonight

Two community centers are also closed, in addition to all APS facilities. Libraries are open but patrons are encouraged to bring bottled water.

Local restaurants, meanwhile, are using bottled water and disposable plates amid the boil water advisory, according to Washingtonian.

More on the boil water advisory, from a county press release:

As a precaution, Arlington County has issued a Boil Water Advisory for customers in the eastern area of the County (excluding Crystal City) who may be impacted by a large water transmission main break at Glebe Road and Chain Bridge Road. (See area… on the map.) The break caused pressure drops in several locations across the County. The advisory is a safety measure because of the depressurization.

If you live in the affected area, you should bring your water to a rolling boil for three minutes then cool before:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Preparing baby food and formula
  • Making ice
  • Giving to pets

Information will be shared when the advisory has been lifted. Check the County website for updates.

Map via Google Maps. Some photos via Arlington DES/Twitter.

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Morning Notes

New Hotel for DCA? — “A hotel might be in the works for Reagan National Airport, according to Jack Potter, CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority… A spokeswoman for MWAA said they are still in the ideas phase and nothing is concrete.” [Washington Business Journal]

Parents Fight Proposed Key Changes — “Parents are battling for the school’s future after Arlington Public Schools surprised them with a plan to relocate Key [Elementary], an announcement that animated larger questions about race, class and the purpose of bilingual education.” [Washington Post]

APS Friday Closure Questioned — “Most schools in the DC region decided to stay open despite the wintry mix Friday morning, but Arlington County Public Schools decided to close leaving parents in disbelief.” [WJLA]

Kindergarteners Learn About Transgender — “Dozens of kindergarten students sat cross-legged in his classroom at Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington, listening as an advocate for transgender rights paged through a children’s picture book about a transgender girl,” as part of an event with the National Education Association and the Human Rights Campaign. [Washington Post]

Chamber Partners with APS — “The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce a partnership with Arlington Public Schools Career Center for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program. The Chamber is in its fifth year of offering the YEA! Program, but this is its first class of students for the program as part of their Arlington Public Schools learning.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Dog With Dementia Falls into Storm Drain — “A small dog with dementia is missing after falling into a storm drain in Arlington, Virginia. The Animal Welfare League of Arlington tweeted out an alert Thursday and said the cute pup disappeared after falling into the sewer about 8 p.m.” [NBC Washington, Twitter]

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