Update (8:53 p.m. Tuesday): Gov. Brian Kemp ordered the closure of all schools until March 31. Forsyth County Schools will return to a normal school schedule on April 13, after spring break. The decision to continue to the high school spring sports season has yet to be made.
Update (9:44 p.m. March 12): The Forsyth County Schools district announced late Thursday night the cancellation of next week's classes, including athletic events such as games and practices.
All extracurricular events are cancelled effective 6 a.m. Friday.
Original story below.
The Georgia High School Association will close the next two weeks and recommends local school districts suspend all spring sports, but as of Thursday afternoon Forsyth County Schools is running as scheduled, which includes all extracurricular activities.
"We have a plan, so we're not scrambling. It's just a day-by-day decision based on what's going on," Forsyth County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo said.
Friday's games and practices are still happening as scheduled, though Caracciolo mentioned that could change.
The GHSA announced its intention to close following Gov. Brian Kemp's press conference Thursday afternoon.
“The regular season belongs to the schools themselves," GHSA executive director Robin Hines said in a statement. “We can only recommend that they suspend playing. The final decision will rest with the local school systems, but we hope they heed the Governor’s and the GHSA’s recommendations.”
Several school systems around the state have moved to close schools. Gainesville City School System will close for a week beginning Monday and the University System of Georgia announced it will suspend instruction for two weeks.
“We’re kind of in a wait-and-see mode as well to see exactly
what the state was going to do and what the GHSA was going to do," North Forsyth athletic director Scott Tilden said. "We’ve
discussed plans, but none of the plans are going to be put in place until we
get official word from the state and GHSA and from our superintendent.”
Pinecrest Academy announced on its website that "in the event the Coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes an active concern in Georgia, Pinecrest Academy will follow the guidance of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the Georgia Department of Public Heath (DHP), and the Forsyth County School Board," adding that the school will follow the decision of Forsyth County Schools.
“We will follow to a tee what the GHSA says for the safety of our kids,” Forsyth Central athletic director Dan Kaplan said.
Major League Baseball cancelled the rest of its spring training games and pushed Opening Day back two weeks, while the NCAA cancelled all winter and spring championships, including March Madness.
If Forsyth County Schools does close its schools for any period of time, that will also shutter any extracurricular events. However, the school district has no authority to prohibit student-athletes' private workouts.
“That will be a family’s decision," Tilden said. "If a family wants to send their kid off to a private trainer or whatever, that will be up to them. But as far as any sort of called or organized school event, outside of the class day or the school day, no. That will not be something that will be encouraged or allowed.”