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Closing/Delaying school due to severe weather or emergencies

One of the major concerns of parents is what happens when schools are delayed or closed due to severe weather (snow, ice, flooding, hurricanes, etc.) or emergencies. The Hampton School Division has an Emergency Dismissal Plan which is immediately activated when severe weather threatens or an emergency is present.

Go to: HCS Emergency Plan

photo of two kids playing in the snow on a sled

photo of a bus covered in snowClosing/Delaying school due to severe weather or emergencies
One of the major concerns of parents is what happens when schools are delayed or closed due to severe weather (snow, ice, flooding, hurricanes, etc.) or emergencies. The Hampton School Division has an Emergency Dismissal Plan which is immediately activated when severe weather threatens or an emergency is present.

How is the decision made to close schools?
When severe weather is forecast, representatives from the HCS Transportation Department road-test major thoroughfares and side streets across the city beginning at approximately 4 a.m. Input regarding road conditions is also obtained from the Hampton Police Division, and weather updates are monitored constantly.

Who makes the decision to close schools?
The superintendent of Hampton City Schools makes this decision. After receiving data and recommendations from the director of School Transportation, and considering the time and severity of the inclement weather, the superintendent makes a decision no later than 5 a.m. for schools to close, delay opening for 2 hours, or to open under the regular schedule. However, should we experience severe weather during the evening hours, a decision about school closing will be made in time to be announced on the 11 p.m. television news, and parents will be informed through our emergency messaging system as well.

How does the public learn about the decision?
As soon as a decision has been reached regarding school delays or closings, our communications staff goes to work to get the word out to the community. Information will be placed on social media. Follow us on Twitter (@HamptonCSchools), Facebook (@HamptonCSchools), and Instagram (Hampton_city_schools) page. Our telephone emergency messaging system will automatically dial the telephone numbers the division has on file to inform parents and staff.

In addition, our PEG-TV cable station will broadcast the message continuously across its screen on Cox Channel 46 and FIOS Channel 20, and the message will be placed on our school division’s website ( Information may also be obtained via the HCS switchboard, which can be accessed by calling 727-2000.

We also notify local television stations and the local newspaper of any closings or delays.

If school is delayed rather than closed, we will follow up with more communication as needed if the weather changes. 

NOTE: PLEASE do not call the individual schools, as this will tie up telephone lines.

What if weather worsens while school is in session?
Sometimes after the decision has been made to open schools, we may find that the weather has taken a turn for the worse. If weather conditions worsen while students are in school, our emergency messaging system will notify parents/guardians by telephone directly of the school division’s plans. In addition, the media will be informed of those plans as well. However, we have found that since many of our schools are designated as city shelters, school is often the safest place for students to be until our regular dismissal time has been reached. We urge parents to have a contingency plan developed for their child should an emergency develop and we have to institute an early dismissal.

What About Hurricanes?
Hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts until November 30, with our peak period being August and September. If a hurricane should threaten our area, the school division will be given specific direction by the City of Hampton’s Emergency Management Office. Of course, this information will be widely disseminated via the local media.

In the event of an evacuation, several routes available to Hampton citizens are listed in the Verizon Peninsula phone book. However, if we are able to remain in the area during the hurricane, several of our schools have been designated as city shelters. They are Bethel, Phenix and Andrews. These shelters will be opened as needed, and that decision will be made by the City’s Office of Emergency Management. For more information on hurricane preparedness, call the City’s 311 Call Center.

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As stated in School Board Policy AC and GBA, Hampton City Schools (“HCS”) does not discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, status as a veteran, genetic information, or other characteristic protected by law in its programs, activities and employment practices and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.  

HCS also prohibits retaliation under School Board Policy GBAB for the purpose of interfering with a person’s rights and/or privileges under federal civil rights laws, which can include: (i) raising concerns with Division personnel about a civil rights violation; (ii) asserting a right or advocating for the rights of a student or employee under federal civil rights laws; or (iii) participating in a complaint investigation or related proceedings. 

All individuals are encouraged to promptly report any incident they believe to be discrimination, harassment or retaliation in violation of HCS School Board Policy.  All reports should be made to the HCS Compliance Officer, who also serves as the HCS Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX/ADA Coordinator.  Upon receiving a report of alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, the Compliance Officer shall promptly authorize an investigation into the complaint, determine whether the alleged act occurred, and determine whether any action must be taken to end or prevent further harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.  For more information about this process, please review the Formal Resolution Process and/or Informal Resolution Process.    

Should you have any questions about these procedures or the contents of this notice, please contact:

Executive Director of Human Resources
Title IX and ADA Coordinator
Department of Human Resources
One Franklin Street
Hampton, VA 23669
(757) 727-2300



Hampton City Schools (HCS) is committed to making its website accessible for all, including individuals with disabilities, and strives to ensure accessibility currently and as new technologies emerge.  The division welcomes questions and feedback on the site’s accessibility at each development phase.  By clicking on “Contact” at the upper right of the main webpage, all users are able to “Help Resolve a Concern,” “Share a Story,” “Provide Feedback,” and “Ask a Question.”  Additionally, the Contact Us page provides direct email access to HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper,


HCS’s computer systems and networks include all of the computer hardware, operating system software, application software, stored text, data files, electronic mail (email), local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, optical media, clip art, digital images, digitized information, communications technologies, and new available technologies.

Please note that some pages on the HCS website contain links to third-party sites.  HCS is not responsible for the content, facts, opinions or accessibility of third-party sites.


The majority of pages in our site are available in HTML format that can be deciphered by screen readers. Some documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF), which require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

  • To download this free program, visit the Adobe website.
  • To read PDF documents with a screen reader, please link to the Access Adobe website, which provides useful tools and resources.

Also, many popular browsers contain built-in accessibility tools, and there are other plug-ins that make websites more accessible.

The HCS website is designed and monitored by HCS Webmaster Vickie Carper, who serves as the gatekeeper for website content and accessibility.   The Webmaster is under the direction of the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, supervised by the Director of Graphics.
Web visitors using assistive technology who may have trouble accessing information on the website may contact the HCS Webmaster,, the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing, and/or the Director of Graphics,

When submitting a question or concern via email, “accessibility” should be included in the subject line.  Every reasonable attempt will be made to address the user’s concern within twenty-four hours.  To assist HCS in responding appropriately, all inquiries should include the following information:

  • A description of the accessibility concern or question;
  • The webpage address of the requested material;
  • The format in which the user prefers to receive the material;
  • The user’s contact information, including preferred method of contact.


HCS monitors all technology resource activity and requires all employees, students and individuals with access to HCS computer systems and networks to annually read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.  See School Board Policy IIBEA for Students; School Board Policy GBBB for Employees.

Our continuing goal is for the HCS website to be accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and that statute's implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and that statute's implementing regulations at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.

Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards. In addition to the federal regulations above, we are actively working to conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Prior to posting new website content, the HCS Webmaster determines if the proposed content meets the criteria of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  Periodically the HCS Webmaster checks the website with a recognized website checker such as 508 Checker and WAVE.  If the audit identifies issues of concern or content errors that impede accessibility to any user, the concerns/errors are evaluated and remedied within a six-week period.


HCS’s website and computer systems and networks are provided on an “as available” basis.  HCS makes no warranties, expressed or implied, without limitation, regarding the fitness for a particular purpose regarding any service provided by the system and any information contained or software used therein.  The division uses hardware and software provided by third-party technology vendors.  Therefore, the division does not warrant that the functions or services performed by, or that the information or software on the system, will meet the user’s requirements.