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How are students, parents and employees notified when schools must be closed?

If inclement weather or other emergency situations require schools to be closed,
the news media will be notified.  If possible, information will be placed on the school system website.

Parents should listen for announcements on local radio and television stations or access the school system website at (Emergency Information).

How is the decision to close schools made?

The superintendent of schools is responsible for making the final decision to close schools.  Generally, the superintendent will consult with designated staff members, public safety officials, and other school systems that may be affected prior to making a final decision.

If it becomes necessary to cancel or delay school, the superintendent will make the decision as early as possible so that announcements made by the news media can reach parents in a timely manner.

What factors are considered when making the decision to close school?

The primary factor that must be considered when making a decision about closing schools is the safety of students and employees. 

Conditions that may cause schools to be closed include the following

Weather ~ Does the weather forecast indicate that conditions could become hazardous?  

The superintendent monitors reports from the National Weather Service.

Roads  ~ Are road conditions safe for cars and buses?  

The superintendent obtains reports regarding road conditions from local public safety officials and the school system's director of transportation.

Buildings  ~  Is the condition of the school building safe for students and staff?  For example, in the event of severe weather, do school buildings have power, heat or air?

The superintendent obtains reports regarding the conditions of school facilities from local public safety officials and the school system's director of facilities.

Buses ~ Is the school bus fleet operable? 

It is normal for moisture to build up on air brake systems of buses. If the moisture freezes, the ice that is formed can block an air line and affect the brakes. Ice can also cause valves to malfunction. When the temperature does not rise significantly above freezing all day and then drops below 20 degrees at night, school can continue, with some delay in bus routes, because the number of buses affected is usually not more than our mechanics can attend to. When the temperature remains at or near freezing all day and then drops below 10 degrees that night, usually more buses than can be addressed become inoperable, and school is canceled.

Threat Alerts  ~ Do public safety officials recommend that schools be closed?  

The superintendent monitors reports from federal, state and local public safety agencies.  If a code orange or code red alert is issued, we will follow the directions of the Office of Homeland Security and local public safety officials. 

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Henry County Schools
33 N. Zack Hinton Parkway
McDonough, GA  30253

Phone 770-957-6601  *   Fax 770-898-7912

Revised: June 29, 2004.
These pages maintained by Sylvia Burch,
Community Relations