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Inclement Weather & School Closings
In an effort to keep our Fulton Schools families and employees prepared and safe during forecasted and unexpected weather events, the FCS Communications Department has created this page to help gather important information and resources. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Television
WSB-TV (Channel 2)
WAGA-TV (Channel 5)
WXIA-TV (Channel 11)
WGCL-TV (Channel 46)
On the Radio
WSB 750 AM & 95.5 FM
WYAY All News 106.7 FM
WABE 90.1 FM
Closing/Delay of School Due to Weather
NOTE: Parents and employees should assume that school is in session and operating on normal schedules unless the Fulton County School System website and social media carries information to the contrary and/or local news media have been notified by school system officials.
Parents and employees often have questions about how decisions are made to close school due to inclement weather. Below are frequently asked questions and their answers.
Who is watching the weather?
Fulton County Schools has a Emergency Response Team that comes together during high-impact situations where schools or the district needs emergency management. This includes inclement weather situations, and the Emergency Response Team has members of Transportation, Safety & Security, Facilities, Maintenance, Academics, Communications, School Nutrition departments to provide a cross-functional view of any weather situation that could possibly close or delay school. In situations where inclement weather may impact school operations, the team meets several times a day, until the event/weather threat is over, to review forecasts and current conditions and to discuss any new information. The team keeps the Superintendent informed, and when needed, makes a recommendation about school closures/delays to the Superintendent for review. The Superintendent makes the final decision.
Where does the Emergency Response Team get its information?
The team begins monitoring information from the National Weather Service, the Georgia Department of Transportation and other local emergency agencies as early as possible when inclement weather is a possibility. The school system’s Transportation Department also begins testing road conditions on our bus routes. Careful consideration is given to the most dangerous bus routes in the district. So, even if it looks clear on one street, dangerous conditions may exist in other parts of our county.
What factors are considered when making the decision to close school?
The safety of all children is the primary concern in making the decision to close school. In deciding whether children will be safe, the district looks at the following factors:
- Information on general road conditions from the FCS Transportation Department and from law enforcement, state departments (such as Georgia DOT) and emergency agencies, including whether roads are hazardous or difficult to travel;
- Time snow or ice starts and the amount (during winter season);
- Weather forecasts;
- Specific-area road conditions, such as downed power lines, flooding, tree debris or other conditions that make travel unsafe
- Building conditions, such as whether schools have power and heat/cooling;
- Parking lot conditions;
- Temperature and wind-chill; and
- The ability or feasibility of diesel-powered school buses being able to operate at extremely cold temperatures (at extremely low temperatures, diesel does not burn efficiently and buses may not start).
Who makes the decision?
The Superintendent is responsible for the final decision based on the above factors and recommendations from district staff. With the advice of the district’s Emergency Response Team and other emergency management agencies, the Superintendent will make a timely decision whether to close schools.
When is the decision made?
The decision is made as early as possible so that parents will have as much time as possible for planning childcare arrangements. Sometimes inclement weather may force school closings during the school day. In these situations, radio and TV stations will be immediately notified. Information also will be shared via social media, the FCS website and through mass notification calling/email systems.
How are Fulton's communities notified?
Radio and television stations will be contacted by the Fulton County Schools Communications Department as soon as the decision is made. The information also will be posted to the school system’s web site as soon as possible – www.fultonschools.org – presuming that weather conditions permit electric power for posting updates. Information also will be shared via social media and through mass notification calling/email systems.
What if school closes during the day?
Parents should make sure that their child’s teacher has a written explanation on file of what their student should do in the event that school closes during the day. If school closes during the day all students will be sent home on their regular bus or daycare van unless other directions are on file. School staff cannot accept phoned-in directions.