Cold weather is impacting students and schools in Maryland and Virginia, stalling school buses and keeping some classrooms very cold.
Fairfax County, Virginia, school buses were prevented from getting out on their routes early Monday morning. Jeff Platenberg, assistant superintendent for Facilities and Transportation for Fairfax County Public Schools, said the cold temperatures cause some buses to break down and did not allow others to start at all.
“Even with us doing the starts over the last couple of days, letting them run for a little bit, sometimes, the cold cranking is a little too much,” Platensberg said. “(Wednesday) morning, we’re probably going to experience some more, and we will again go out early and try and address any issues that we have.”
Out of the 8,700 bus routes in Fairfax County, the school district said 200 routes were impacted, meaning hundreds of students were forced to wait in the cold for up to an hour. Parents and students can check on bus route delays on https://busdelay.fcps.edu/#mce_temp_url#.
In one Montgomery County, Maryland, school, students kept on coats inside classrooms after the extreme cold contributed to problems with the heating system. Students at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland, returned from winter break to classrooms where the temperature was below 50 degrees.
“I just remember walking into first period in the morning, and everyone was huddling up and wearing their coats,” said senior Rachel Li. “It is very hard to concentrate. A lot of the conversations we have in class is about how cold it is in the building."
School officials said the heating problems has been fixed, and temperatures in the classrom on Wednesday should be back to normal.