Schools stay open for now

COVINGTON -- Newton County school officials are keeping an eye on the wintry weather in North Georgia.

As of press time Thursday, the weather predictions hadn't forced the closing of Newton County schools yet.

The Newton County School System announced late Thursday morning that schools would remain open as scheduled that day and parents should listen out for a status of classes today, which had yet to be canceled or delayed.

Anytime unfavorable weather conditions are expected, NCSS 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," Sherri Viniard, director of public relations at NCSS, said earlier this week.

She said if a decision is made to cancel or delay the opening of schools today, NCSS expected to make the announcement either late tonight or early this morning.

She said schools would use its 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.