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NEW WEATHER PROCEDURE NOW IN EFFECT

We’ve listened to our customers and the Fairfax County Park Authority is changing its procedures for weather-related cancelations and closures this winter. In the past the Park Authority followed the Fairfax County Public Schools closure announcements. As of November 1, 2015, the Park Authority follows Fairfax County Government closures. This change recognizes that the unique challenges facing the public schools on inclement weather days are different than those facing the Parks in providing recreational activities.

Where to Get Information

You can always find the latest information:

Parks Plan Snow Day Camps to Ease Storm-Related Care Issues

Snow Day CampHeavy snows can close schools and present challenges for families where both parents work. Snowzilla brought more than 20 inches of snow and left parents who had to get to the office with limited choices and difficult decisions. In response, the Fairfax County Park Authority has created a pilot program at four RECenters that will provide Snow Day Camp for school-age children.

Unless the county closes all county facilities, RECenters and other park facilities will remain open for general use and for classes. If Park Authority facilities are open, scheduled rentals such as swim team practices, meets, weddings and birthday parties will continue as planned unless canceled by the customer or FCPA.

In the case of inclement weather, use the guidelines below to see how your class or activity will be affected. In unique circumstances or if the County has not made an announcement, the Park Authority may make a separate announcement on its website based on weather conditions.

If Fairfax County Government is closed all day:

  • Fairfax County Park Authority facilities are closed all day.
  • FCPA classes, camps and events held at RECenters or other Park Authority facilities are canceled.
  • Preschool programs at Lee District and Spring Hill will not operate.

If Fairfax County Government opens late:

  • The Fairfax County Park Authority will announce the opening times for its RECenters and other facilities on its website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks, on the Inclement Weather Line (703-324-8661) and through social media. Rental groups (such as swim teams) should contact their organization.
  • FCPA classes, camps, and events held at RECenters or other FCPA facilities beginning before 11 a.m. are canceled and those beginning at 11 a.m. or later will operate as scheduled unless announced otherwise.
  • Morning preschool programs at Lee District and Spring Hill start at 11 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. and afternoon preschool will be from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. unless announced otherwise.

If Fairfax County Government closes early:

  • Fairfax County Park Authority facilities will close at the announced time for that day.
  • FCPA classes, camps and events held at RECenters or other FCPA facilities are canceled from the announced time on, including evening activities.
  • Afternoon preschool at Lee District and Spring Hill is cancelled from the announced time on. Morning preschool is not affected.

Programs NOT at Park Authority Facilities:



The information below applies only to the three (3) instances where programs are NOT held at Park Authority facilities:



  1. FCPA programs held at non-Park Authority sites (private business locations):
    Please call the site directly or contact your instructor.
  2. Day Trips and Tours programs:
    FCPA-sponsored bus tours will operate as scheduled, unless participants are notified by telephone.  Weather cancellations or changes are posted on the Trips and Tours Hotline,
    703-324-TOUR (8687).
  3. Park Authority classes and programs held in Fairfax County Public School buildings:
    Activities cannot be held at schools when schools are closed due to inclement weather or other emergencies.

    When schools cancel classes, after school, evening or weekend activities, or cancel community use in their buildings and grounds after a certain time, Park Authority programs at schools are canceled from the announced time through the remainder of the day.  If schools open late, Park Authority classes will resume at the school when they reopen.

    ONLY FOR PROGRAMS HELD AT FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

    If Fairfax County Government is OPEN,
    but Fairfax County Public Schools:

    Schools Announcement Park Authority Programs in Schools Only
    Closed all day:
    (FCPS Conditions 1, 2 or 5)
    Park programs held at schools are canceled.
    Open two hours late:
    (FCPS Conditions 3a and 3b)
    Park programs held at schools starting at 4 p.m. or later will begin on time.
    Close two hours early:
    (FCPS Condition 4)
    Park programs held at schools are canceled from 4 p.m. on, including evening activities.
    Do not dismiss early, but cancel all afternoon and evening programs:
    (FCPS Condition 6)
    Park programs held at schools are canceled from 4 p.m. on, including evening activities.
    Close their buildings and grounds to community use in the evening - activities must be completed by 6:15 p.m. or are canceled
    (FCPS Condition 7)
    Park programs held at schools that begin at 6:15 p.m. or later are canceled for the remainder of the evening. All classes at schools must conclude by 6:15 p.m. 
    Cancel Saturday and/or Sunday weekend activities:
    (FCPS Condition 8)
    Park programs held at schools are canceled for Saturday and/or Sunday.
    On student holidays, Schools and offices are closed all day
    (FCPS Condition 9A)
    Park Authority programs held at schools are canceled.
    On student holidays, Schools are closed but school offices open late
    (FCPS Condition 9B)
    Park programs held at schools will begin from the announced time on, including evening activities.
    On student holidays, Schools are closed but school offices close early
    (FCPS Condition 9C)
    Park programs held at schools are canceled from the announced time on, including evening activities. 
Weather Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL INFORMATION

ExpandWhat's the change in weather closings for the Park Authority?

In the past the Park Authority followed the Fairfax County Public Schools closure announcements. Beginning November 1, 2015, the Park Authority will follow Fairfax County Government closures.

Unless the county closes all county facilities, RECenters and other park facilities will remain open for general use and for classes. If Park Authority facilities are open, scheduled rentals such as swim team practices, meets, weddings and birthday parties will continue as planned unless canceled by the customer or FCPA. For programs at non-Park Authority locations, other guidelines apply.



ExpandWhy are you making the change?

We've listened to our customers and instructors. This change recognizes that the unique challenges facing the public schools on inclement weather days are different than those facing the Parks in providing recreational activities.



ExpandWhen does the change take effect?

The new weather procedures are effective November 1, 2015. If a weather event happens prior to that date, the current policy on our website which follows the public school schedule applies.



ExpandHow do I get information about weather-related closings?

You can always find the latest information online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks, via our Inclement Weather Line at 703-324-8661 and on Twitter (https://twitter.com/fairfaxparks) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/fairfaxcountyparks).



ExpandHow do I get text messages about weather related closings?

Sign up for Fairfax Alerts. You can select the type of notifications you will receive and by which type of device (email, text, phone, etc.). Be sure to select County closures as one of the notification options. The Park Authority does not send text alerts separately from the County Alerts.



HOLIDAYS & WEEKENDS

ExpandThe County didn't make a weather closing announcement on the weekend or holiday. What do I do?

No announcement generally means a normal operating schedule. However Park Authority facilities such as RECenters open earlier than most government buildings and operate on weekends and most holidays. If the County does not make an announcement about all County facilities, the Park Authority will announce any changes to facility and program schedules on its website and Inclement Weather Hotline at 703-324-8661. Other emergency information can be found on Fairfax County's Emergency Blog.



FACILITIES (RECenters, Nature Centers, etc.)

ExpandWill all facilities be open at all centers? (Pools, fitness center)

Yes, we plan to have all services available when our facilities are open. Although a facility is open, parts of the facility such as the pool require full staffing (lifeguards) to operate. Class instructors may not be able to make it in to teach a specific class but will notify students in advance. It is a good idea to call ahead to the facility before leaving home.



ExpandWill some park facilities be open and others closed?

Weather conditions and electrical power outages may differ around the County which may impact the opening times of some facilities.  RECenters usually will be first to be plowed because they open the earliest.  Check the Park Authority website for the most current information.



ExpandWill facilities always open at the same time?

Park Authority facilities normally open at different times. For example, Nature Centers normally do not open until 11 a.m. on weekdays during the winter. During weather events, RECenters generally will open first, followed by other staffed facilities as the roads, parking lots and sidewalks can be cleared of snow and ice.



ExpandIs my child's swim team practice still running?

When RECenters are open, practices may go on as scheduled, but USA Swim and Dive and other private teams make their own decision as whether to hold practices. Contact your team for information. Fairfax County High School swim and dive team practices are canceled if Fairfax County Public Schools are closed.



ExpandCan I still swim laps in the pool?

Yes, as long as the pool is open and lap lanes are normally scheduled to be available. During extreme weather events, the pool opening may be delayed until lifeguards can arrive.



ExpandAre special events, birthday parties and room rentals still on?

When RECenters and other park facilities are open, special events may go on as scheduled unless notified otherwise. Contact the event organizer for details.



CLASSES

ExpandIs my class still on?

When the Fairfax County Government is open on time, classes at RECenters and other park facilities will go on as scheduled, even if the Fairfax County Public Schools are closed. If the Fairfax County Government opens late, classes at RECenters and other park facilities that begin before 11 a.m. are canceled and classes beginning at 11 a.m. or later will go on as scheduled. If the County Government closes early, classes are canceled from the announced time on, including evening activities.



ExpandMy class is at a school and schools are closed. What now?

Park Authority classes scheduled at public schools follow the Fairfax County Public School closing schedule. If there is time to make up the class we will always try to reschedule a class to give you all of the instructional days. However, if the class cannot be made up, you will receive a credit on your Parknet account at the end of the session for the missed class.



ExpandIf schools are closed, I have to take care of my kids and can't get to class. What now?

If you are unable to attend class, please contact your instructor or the facility to let them know. They will decide if a make-up class will be held or you can request a credit to your Parknet account for the missed class.



ExpandWhat if I can't get to my class due to road or weather conditions?

Safety is always the first priority for our customers and our staff. If you are unable to attend class, please contact your instructor or the facility to let them know. They will decide if a make-up class will be held or you can request a credit to your Parknet account for the missed class.



ExpandWhat if I get there and my class is cancelled?

In the unusual case that an instructor cannot make it in to teach the class, there are several options. For drop-in fitness classes, our Fitness Directors will try to provide a substitute instructor or alternate class at the same time. For all other registration classes, we will schedule a make-up class in the future or place a credit on your Parknet account for the missed class. If your class is at a RECenter, you are welcome to stay and use the facility for the day for your inconvenience.



ExpandMy class was canceled. Will I receive a refund or will my class be extended?

If there is time to make up the class we will always try to reschedule a class to give you all of the instructional days. However, if the class cannot be made up, you will receive a credit on your Parknet account at the end of the session for the missed class.



ExpandIf my class was canceled can I join another class?

If you are taking a drop-in group fitness class or are using your Aqua Exercise Flex Pass, you may drop-in to any other class when space is available.



ExpandWill drop-in group exercise fitness classes be going?

Yes, when our RECenters are open classes plan to go on as scheduled. However, because drop-in fitness classes do not have a set roster of participants, our staff cannot contact you in advance about any changes to the schedule or instructors. You can call the RECenter directly to ask about a specific class.



Expand What if my class is not at a RECenter or park facility? Is it still going?

For FCPA classes held at private business locations (such as a dance studio or martial arts facility) please call the business directly for their schedule. For FCPA classes held at Fairfax County Public School locations, we follow the school weather closings. Please see the Inclement Weather Guidelines document for details.

Remember that weather conditions may differ around the County which may impact the opening times of some facilities. RECenters usually will be first to be plowed because they open the earliest. Check the Park Authority website for the most current information.



ExpandWill my personal training session or private lesson still go on?

When our facilities are open, private instruction and personal training will continue, but contact your instructor/trainer to coordinate your schedules.



CAMPS / WORKSHOPS

ExpandWill my FCPA camp still run even if schools are closed?

Yes. Camps held at Park Authority facilities will operate when the Fairfax County Government is open. FCPA camps held in public school facilities are canceled when schools are closed. For camps held at private business locations, call the location directly.



ExpandWill extended care still be available?

Yes. When RECenters and other park facilities are open, extended care will go on as scheduled. However, if the Fairfax County Government opens late, extended care may be affected. If whether conditions deteriorate, families may be contacted and encouraged to pick children up early.



PRESCHOOL

ExpandHow are FCPA preschool programs at Lee District and Spring Hill affected by closings?

If Fairfax County Government is closed all day, preschool programs at Lee District and Spring Hill RECenters are canceled. If Fairfax County government opens late, morning preschool programs start at 11 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. and afternoon preschool will be from 1:30 - 3:30 unless announced otherwise. If Fairfax County Government closes early, afternoon preschool is canceled from the announced time on. Morning preschool is not affected.



ATHLETIC FIELDS / PARKS

ExpandWho do I call to find out of a park is closed due to inclement weather?

Public parks are open during daytime hours. Outdoor parks are not closed during inclement weather, but you should take care when visiting during bad weather.



ExpandHow can I find out if an athletic field is open or closed during inclement weather?

 

Athletic field status can be found on the Park Authority website at The Field Status page is updated by 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. This posting reflects the status of Park Authority athletic fields only and the status of athletic fields on weekdays only and will not be updated on the weekend.



ExpandWhere do I report storm-related damage in a park?

 

Call the Fairfax County Park Authority Park Operations Division at 703-324-8591. You may also send information to the Park Authority via email at Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.



DAY TRIPS AND TOURS

ExpandI'm scheduled on a bus tour and it's snowing. Is it canceled?

FCPA-sponsored bus tours will operate as scheduled, unless participants are notified by telephone or email. Weather cancellations or changes are posted on the Trips and Tours Hotline, 703-324-TOUR (8687).



More information on ways to stay informed during emergencies can be found on the Fairfax County Government websitehttp://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/stay-informed.htm

Fairfax County Public School inclement weather policies can be found at www.fcps.edu/news/conditions.shtml.

09/25/15


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