Wondering Whether Local Schools Will Be Closed for Weather on Friday?
Snow, sleet and black ice are possible. Like others, Walton and Gwinnett officials are monitoring the situation.
Walton and Gwinnett parents, be forewarned. It could be the last minute early Friday (January 18) before school officials decide whether to cancel classes for that day.
As of now, classes are still on for Friday, according to Gwinnett Schools' spokesperson Jorge Quintana. He added that the policy for the system, which has more than 160,000 students, is to wait as late as 6 a.m. on the given day before deciding whether to postpone classes for that day.
Walton County Public School spokesman Kim Embry said much the same applies for schools in the WCPS system.
"We have a very comprehensive inclement weather plan," Embry said. "We watch the roads overnight and if there is any concern in the morning, we will make the decision."
Embry said if they decide to cancel school or delay pickup of students, parents would be notified before 6 a.m.
"We do a call out, post on our website and call the local radio and television stations," Embry said. "There are several different ways this can play out - either cancel school altogether, delay for a couple of hours or just have the 12 month employees report. But we would notify parents before the students head for the bus stop.
And given the nature of the current weather forecasts, it likely will be a last-minute decision. The National Weather service has talked of the possibility of snow and black ice late Thursday and into early Friday.
Black ice is roadway ice from residual moisture, not from what falls during a current weather system.
Quintana said in an email that for Gwinnett County the decision is made after transportation employees test the roads very early in the morning to make sure it is safe for school buses to travel on. "We also work very closely with other agencies who monitor road conditions," he said.
He added that parents and students should always check the GCPS website before 6 a.m., where a message about schools' status that day would be posted.
The National Weather Service's latest prediction says:
Rain and snow likely, mainly before 9 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 27. Northwest wind 10 to 15 m.p.h, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.