WEATHER WATCH – Make-Up Date 2/20

Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 – 7:30 pm – Classes will resume on schedule tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 9).

The information below was sent from Dr. April Howard, JCSS superintendent, to staff this evening and is being shared here with our stakeholders so they can begin to plan for making up today’s absence on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the date Dr. Howard will recommend to the Board of Education when it meets Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 pm at the BOE/Central Office location, 1660 Winder Highway, Jefferson, adjacent to the Jackson County Comprehensive High School campus.

     I want to share with you how we decided to close schools this morning.  The National Weather Service provides periodic weather webinars and briefings when we are expected to experience potential weather challenges.
     We participated in webinars FridaySaturday and one at 7 PM last evening.  At that time most metro schools were still in session, and we felt pretty safe with planning for a normal day.  Several of us rose early this morning for a 4 AM weather webinar, which indicated a greater concern and included Jackson County in the Advisory Area for Ice Accumulation.
     After consulting with other districts also within the advisory area, we chose to err on the side of safety. As you know most metro schools and those to our north also closed today.  Additionally, our district spans a wide geographic territory, and areas such as Gillsville, Talmo and Maysville often have challenges when other parts of our county may not. We also keep in mind that we have hundreds of high school students who drive quite a distance to attend our two regional high schools.
     Clearly, we would have been able to have school today since the predicted weather conditions did not materialize. I value our students’ instructional time and certainly apologize for what feels like a missed opportunity today. However, I appreciate you understanding the challenges associated with making decisions, and we always keep the safety of our students and staff as our first priority.
     We will be recommending to our BOE that today and any additional missed days be made up.  Our plan at this time is for Monday, February 19, to be a professional learning day, and Tuesday, February 20, to be a regular student day.
     We recognize that some staff and students’ families may have already made plans.  We will honor February 20 as an excused absence for students whose parents can demonstrate to their principal’s satisfaction that plans that would keep the student out of school on that day were already in place before the announcement of the makeup date.
     If the need should arise for additional days to be made up, Monday, March 12, may become a student day and others may be added to the end of the school year.   We are very hopeful that will not be necessary.
     Again, thank you for your patience with these types of conditions.
— Dr. April Howard, Superintendent of Schools

 

Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 – 5:27 am – Jackson County Schools will be closed today, a decision made based on the most recent information from the National Weather Service: Temperatures in our area are expected to remain below freezing until noon, and as precipitation moves in from the west, freezing rain or rain will reach the ground.Please be safe out there!

Anytime schools are closed or openings delayed, we will contact all students and staff for whom we have data in our Infinite Campus data management system. Typically, those calls are not made before 5:30 am or after 10 pm, but we will always post to our websites and social media platforms as soon as decisions are made.

For information on updating your contact information and preferences in Infinite Campus, click here.


Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 – Current weather predictions make it look like we WILL be able to run on time and safely Monday morning, but we will continue to watch the developing situation closely.

If school openings are delayed or classes canceled, we will post notifications here and on our social media sites; an all-call will go out families of our students and to staff members, using the phone numbers in our information management systems; and local media will be notified.

The next briefing from the National Weather Service is expected at 4 a.m. and will be monitored by our staff. Thanks for your patience!


Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 – 2:50 pm – We are watching the weather forecasts that are calling for the potential of rain/freezing rain in our area early Monday morning, Jan. 8, 2018.

Because of the time, temperature, and precipitation variables, it’s unlikely that any decision about the delay in the start of the school day or cancellation of classes will be made before late afternoon/early evening Sunday, Jan. 7.

If school openings are delayed or classes canceled, we will post notifications here and on our social media sites; an all-call will go out families of our students and to staff members, using the phone numbers in our information management systems; and local media will be notified.

In the meantime, bundle up — it’s cold out there!