CUMMING, GA — Due to the potential for black ice Friday morning, the Forsyth County School District will have a two-hour delay Friday for all students and staff.
Buses will pick up two hours from their normal schedule, lunch will be served, and dismissal will occur at the regularly scheduled time.
School start times are posted online.
SEE MORE: GA Weather Alert: Black Ice Possible Overnight
To ensure the safety of our students and staff, Forsyth County Schools has a comprehensive plan that is executed when there is the consideration of a school closing or delay due to inclement weather.
WHO IS WATCHING THE WEATHER?
The superintendent and administrative staff carefully monitor weather conditions during seasons of inclement weather.
WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR INFORMATION?
The school district staff listens to weather forecasts. The director of transportation monitors and tests road conditions on bus routes and our maintenance departments checks school power conditions. Local and state law enforcement agencies and neighboring school systems are consulted about road conditions. Careful consideration is given to the most dangerous bus routes in the district.
WHAT FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED WHEN MAKING THE DECISION TO CLOSE SCHOOL?
The safety of all Forsyth County children is the primary concern. Even if it looks clear on your street, dangerous conditions may exist in some other part of the district. In deciding whether the children will be safe, the following factors are considered:
- Information on road conditions from the director of transportation and law enforcement agencies, including whether roads are iced or icing;
- Time snow or ice starts and the amount;
- Weather predictions;
- Building conditions (e.g., whether we have power and heat);
- Parking lot and sidewalk conditions; and
- Temperature and wind-chill factor.
WHO MAKES THE DECISION?
The superintendent of schools is responsible for making the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the district staff.
WHEN IS THE DECISION MADE?
The superintendent tries to make the decision by 5:30 a.m. so that the broadcast media can be notified.
HOW IS THE PUBLIC NOTIFIED?
Forsyth County school closings will be announced on the local and metro broadcast media outlets, the school system website, www.forsyth.k12.ga.us, and on the automated voice service at 770-887-2461. Subscribers to FCS’ e-newsletters will also receive an email notifying them on closings or delays. Additionally, closings are posted on www.facebook.com/FCSchools and www.twitter.com/FCSchoolsGA. Note that you should verify the information by checking two sources, especially when relying on social media for information. Fake social media accounts with school and/or the district names and logos violate copyright laws but unfortunately are common. FCS’ official social media accounts have been in existence since 2009 and therefore have a long list of tweets and followers, while fake accounts have significantly fewer tweets and followers.
IF THERE IS NO CLOSING MESSAGE ON FCS’ WEBSITE, MAIN VM GREETING OR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS, THEN SCHOOL IS OPEN.
WHAT IF SCHOOL CLOSES DURING THE DAY?
If school closes during the school day all students will be sent home in the usual manner (bus, day-care van, etc.) unless other directions are on file with the teacher. It is impossible for the school staff to accept phoned directions during emergency closures. Parents should plan in advance for early school closings. Make sure that the child knows where to go, how to get there and what to do upon arrival. The public will be notified by the same methods listed above.
WHAT IF SCHOOL OPENING IS DELAYED?
If school opening is delayed, please follow the same routine/schedule as normal, but push back the start time by two hours.
ARE THERE INCLEMENT WEATHER DAYS BUILT INTO THE CALENDAR?
No, FCS recovers lost instructional time due to school closings by using itslearning, the district’s learning management system. For more information see your school’s website or view online learning days. FCS staff should be familiar with the Online School Closure Staff Expectations.
FEEDBACK ON SCHOOL CLOSING OR DELAY DECISIONS
FCS understands that school closings or delays affect families in a variety of ways. Feedback on decisions should be submitted through the “contact us” form. FCS is unable to respond to individual phone calls, emails or social media posts during inclement weather events.
The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement for potential black ice overnight across north Georgia.
A winter weather advisory is also in effect through 1 a.m. Friday morning for the mountains of northeast and north central Georgia.
Rain and snow is ongoing across portions of North Georgia and is expected to transition to all snow before ending by this evening.
Colder air will rush in behind the precipitation with temperatures dropping below freezing shortly after midnight for the far northern sections and the Atlanta metro sections a few hours later. Winds will aid in drying roads but any residual water on area roadways could result in black ice. With the abundant rainfall over the last few weeks, there will be a higher than normal chance of black ice conditions especially where water flows through the higher elevations and across roadways. This will create hazardous driving conditions where it does occur through the rush hour Friday morning. Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing after 10 a.m. for most areas.
There are a few weather model solutions that suggest some light snow is possible overnight in the Atlanta metro due to cold air rushing over the warmer Lake Lanier. There is low chance of this occurring and any accumulations if at all would be very light.
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