Walts: ‘I Would Like to Personally Apologize for the Decision Made on that Day’

| January 7, 2015 | 0 Comments | Education
Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts publicly apologized for the decision to keep schools open, despite hazardous weather conditions on Tuesday, at the Jan. 7 School Board meeting.

Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts publicly apologized for the decision to keep schools open, despite hazardous weather conditions on Tuesday, at the Jan. 7 School Board meeting.

Attempting to deflect the ire of community members who were inconvenienced by Tuesday’s  decision to begin schools at their regular start times, Prince William County Schools Superintendent Steven L. Walts apologized for what he called “a bad decision” at Tuesday’s School Board Meeting.

“On the second day back, I didn’t think we would be facing the challenge of the current weather,” Walts said. “I would like to personally apologize for the decision made on that day, and I will assume full responsibility for making that decision.”

Walts explained that it was he, not the School Board, who is tasked with making decisions about school-related closings.

Walts said he consults a number of individuals, monitors weather forecasts and charges a “snow watch team to literally go out on the roads in the middle of the night.”

“Obviously, in spite of all the information that was in front of me, I made a bad decision,” he said. “I’m sorry for that decision.”

He also said that he was chastised in his own home for his decision; he waited at the bus stop with his daughter for 45 minutes, but the bus did not come.

“We have an excellent bus driver, but bus drivers have multiple runs and the bus driver was detained from a previous run due to the traffic,” he said.

Ultimately, he praised custodians, teachers, administrators, crossing guards, and especially bus drivers for their efforts.

“Many did jobs they wouldn’t normally do including salting, shoveling, pushing people’s cars, and helping the kids out,” he said.

Citing an almost normal attendance rate for faculty and staff, Walts also said he will instruct school division managers, supervisors and principals not to charge any employee who had to take personal leave due to extended travel times to school Tuesday.

While neighboring school divisions have offered employees. who braved treacherous roads to report to work, an extra day of vacation, Walts said PWCS would do what it can considering budget restraints.

© 2015, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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