Weather Cancellation Procedures

When bad weather or other emergency situations occur, it may be necessary for Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) to modify normal operations by canceling, moving to virtual/remote learning, delaying opening, or closing schools early.


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Key things to remember

The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority when making decisions.

PWCS reviews information from emergency management, meteorologists, and state highway administrators about road conditions, and school personnel also inspect the conditions of roads throughout the county, sidewalks, and parking lots and bus lanes. Decisions are made based on countywide conditions and weather forecasts to ensure the safety of all students, staff, and residents across more than 350 square miles. This means closings may occur when conditions might not seem particularly bad in your immediate area.


Decisions are communicated as rapidly as possible.

PWCS tries to make decisions on delays and closings as many hours in advance as possible, in consideration of families who need time to make proper arrangements. Except in unusual circumstances demanding emergency measures, the decision will be made the night before, or not later than 4:30 a.m. on the morning of a closing or delay.


You Make the Ultimate Decision.

As parents and guardians, if you feel conditions are unsafe and school is open, you have the option of not sending your child(ren) to school. Students will receive an excused absence. Please report the absence to your child’s school. They will not be penalized academically but are expected to make up all assignments.


Have a Well-Communicated Plan in Place.

Children need to know where to go or what to do if a parent will not be home. Please do not bring students to school early during a delayed opening as staff will not be in the building.


Do you know the code?

Please get to know the weather codes we use in PWCS when closing school or delaying the opening of school.

PWCS provides information about closings and delays in many ways including:

  • PWCS Facebook and Twitter
  • Alerts on the PWCS Home page and each school webpage
  • Email and text messages sent to parents/guardians (using the contact information in The Hub)
  • Push notification to the My PWCS App
  • Posted on PWCS-TV (Channel 18 on Comcast and Channel 36 on Fios)
  • Area radio and television stations


Due to the speed of updating, the official @PWCSnews Twitter account is generally the first and fastest mode of communication. Other communication channels will be updated as quickly as possible including email, text, website, other social media, and news stations. Please be aware, due to the large volume of emails sent, there will likely be a delay between the Twitter alert and receipt of an email in your inbox.

How to Receive Critical Messages

How to Receive Critical Messages from PWCS

   phone     envelope     comment bubble 

PWCS Notifications

Parents and guardians of students and employees of Prince William County Public Schools are automatically enrolled in the PWCS Notification messaging service.

PWCS central office and schools use this system to communicate delayed opening and school closing information, emergency messages, and to send attendance, lunch account balance, and school-based outreach messages. Messages are delivered using basic contact information provided by parents and employees. 

Learn How To Set Your Notification Preferences

Updating Basic Contact Information

It is important to keep emergency contact information up to date. Parents may view request edits to their child's emergency contact information online through The Hub.

Employees may view and update their contact information through Employee Self Service.



Mobile App

My PWCS app for mobile devices delivers the information you want, including emergency announcements, news, and links to lunch menus, school contacts, bus schedules, and lunch payments, to the palm of your hand. Download the latest version from the Google Play Store and the App Store.


   My PWCS app on a cell phone

 i tunes   Google Play