Feeling the chill: Schools on alert as snowfall in forecast

Photo by ee

Photo by ee

COVINGTON -- With temperatures hovering around the freezing mark this week and a chance of snow possible Thursday, officials with the Newton County School System are keeping an eye on the weather.

Anytime unfavorable weather conditions are expected, Superintendent Steven Whatley monitors the weather forecast and keeps in regular contact with the Newton County Sheriff's Office and the school system's transportation department to check on roadway conditions.

"Should it be determined that road conditions are just too dangerous for the buses, as well as our parents and employees, to be out on the roads, the superintendent would make the decision to either cancel school for the day or delay the opening, depending on how bad the roadways are," said Sherri Viniard, director of public relations at NCSS.

She said the decision to close or delay school is made by 6 a.m.

At that point, NCSS "would immediately begin the notification process for employees, parents and the media," Viniard said. "The central office and each school has a rapid notification procedure to communicate with employees."

She said schools would use the School Messenger automated phone system to phone parents, and the school system also would contact major television networks and metro-Atlanta radio stations; officials also will update the NCSS Web site, www.newtoncountyschools.org, if possible.

Makeup days would be determined at a later date, Viniard said.