On the Net
To learn more about the Forsyth County school system’s online/itslearning program, visit www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/onlineplan.
FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County school system called off school Tuesday after snow started falling in the early morning hours.
Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the district, said 240-day staff should report to work only if conditions were safe for travel.
After-school activities and athletics could be held after 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to the school system, though parents were directed to check with the individual schools.
Superintendent Jeff Bearden and administrative staff monitored the weather overnight before the call was made about school, according to Caracciolo.
Factors taken into consideration included timing and forecast predictions for snow and ice totals, building concerns and parking lot conditions.
According to Caracciolo, about 20 safety and transportation staff members drove around the county starting at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday to test the roads.
They likely will repeat that process Wednesday morning, pushing a final decision on whether to cancel school until about 5:30 a.m.
The weather forecast called for a quick warm-up Tuesday, with the wintry mix tapering off and high temperatures reaching near 40 degrees by the afternoon.
That break was expected to be brief, however, as the forecast called for a chance of more snow and frozen precipitation Wednesday afternoon and evening into Thursday.
The high Thursday is projected to reach 43 before giving way to partly sunny conditions on Friday and Saturday with temperatures in the mid- to upper-40s.
Tuesday was an online/itslearning day for Forsyth County’s schools, the district’s second, Caracciolo said.
That meant students would have five school days after they return from school to complete assignments they can view via the district’s virtual online learning portal.
The site saw 7,184 concurrent users by 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, with one glitch causing a four-minute shutdown about 11:40 a.m., Caracciolo said.
This registered as an increased in accessibility over the launch of the site, when connectivity was sluggish and many students and parents found it difficult to use.
However, last week’s ice storm caused significant power outages across the county, which may have led to difficulties in many households.
The decision to call off school was made across the Forsyth County area, with the neighboring counties of Cherokee, Dawson and Hall following suit.
The snowfall was the continuation of a winter weather pattern that has disrupted school and life across Forsyth over the past two weeks.
Last week, schools were open only on Friday. Feb. 16 was the President’s Day holiday, while ice, frigid conditions and lingering power outages did not allow for school Feb. 17-19.
Feb. 17 and 18 will be made up, covered by the district’s two built-in inclement weather days, on March 16 and April 3. Feb. 19 was the system’s first-ever online/itslearning day.
In other weather-related schedule notes Tuesday:
* Forsyth County’s government offices and courts did not open until 10 a.m.
* The University of North Georgia delayed opening its Cumming campus until 12:30 p.m.
* Lanier Technical College’s Forsyth County campus was closed.