Snow, ice shut down schools; Newton schools closed for second day

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

CONYERS -- Sleet, snow and ice forced area school systems to close schools for at least one day this week, and in some cases longer.

Both Newton and Rockdale County public school systems announced Sunday that schools would be closed to students and staff for at least Monday due to inclement weather and potential hazardous roads, after the school superintendents and their staffs consulted with road crews and local law enforcement agencies.

Newton County Schools Superintendent Gary Mathews decided Monday that schools also would be closed today given the weather conditions. Additionally, tonight's scheduled work session for the Newton County Board of Education and swearing in for new board members also is postponed. An announcement regarding budget cuts NCSS officials were expected to make Monday and an accompanying public budget hearing scheduled for Thursday also were canceled and will be rescheduled.

As of press time, RCPS had not yet decided if schools would be closed today. Check the Rockdale Citizen website, www.rockdalecitizen.com, for updates on school closings.

Georgia Perimeter College, Oxford College, private schools and other area educational institutions also canceled Monday classes. Students at GPC, Oxford College and other post-secondary schools were scheduled to return to campuses from winter holidays on Monday, but instead, they got a longer weekend. GPC also canceled Tuesday classes.

Schools could be delayed or closed again this week as the wintry conditions and freezing temperatures are predicted to stay around.

Anytime weather conditions could become unsafe for public school students and staff traveling to schools in buses and on the road in general, area school transportation departments monitor the weather forecasts and keep in regular contact with law enforcement agencies and the National Weather Service to check on roadway conditions.

School superintendents will make a decision to delay or close schools no later than 5:30 a.m. in Rockdale County and 6 a.m. in Newton County.

Once a decision is made, local system employees will begin notifying parents and staff through automated phone systems; major television stations like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC; metro-Atlanta radio stations like Star 94 and WSB Radio; and school system Web sites, www.newtoncountyschools.org and www.rockdale.k12.ga.us. Newton County Schools also has a Twitter page.

Makeup days, if any, generally are determined at a later date.