Decatur Closes Schools Monday Due to Forecasted Winter Weather

City Schools of Decatur sent out this alert this evening…

City Schools of Decatur will be closed Monday, January 6th due to inclement winter weather.  The Superintendent has been monitoring the weather advisories.  Due to the continued freezing temperatures, windchill, wet and icy conditions predicted for Monday, school will be closed for the safety of our students and staff.  Please continue to monitor the City Schools of Decatur website and Facebook page, and tune into the appropriate news channels, for information regarding school reopening on Tuesday.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Please stay safe and warm!

The message is also posted on CSD’s website.

94 thoughts on “Decatur Closes Schools Monday Due to Forecasted Winter Weather”

    1. And they go both ways!

      Seriously. They do. That’s not a comment on sexuality. Sometimes when you switch pages, the direction shifts.

      I really need to go to bed so I can get some sleep before the kids find out it’s a “snow” day.

  1. WSB reports a two hour delay Monday and Tuesday, oddly. 11Alive says closed Monday as does the CSD Web Page.

  2. Yeah, NPR is saying a two-hour delay, too. Which makes no sense, as it will not be any warmer and any ice that’s on the roads now will likely still be there in two hours. It’s actually not too bad out there today, but I think EVERYTHING should be closed tomorrow! We Southerners are just not equipped to be out and about in 7-degree weather!

  3. Please be open Tuesday. Please be open Tuesday. Please be open Tuesday. We’ve had today circled on the calendar since Dec 20th. Please be open Tuesday. Please be open Tuesday.

    1. + 1. Stay at home parents need a break. Working parents don’t get off just because it’s cold and they use up all their leave and flexibility on the many, regular holidays. There’s no camps for snow, I mean cold, days.

      Full disclosure: I’m grateful for caution on the part of CSD. Just aware than not all parents are overjoyed at the prospect of two days of unplanned children at home and possibly child care issues. It’s much better that CSD announce the night before with that great telephone and email system than send students home once they have already gotten to school.

      1. I take it back about no camps. Yesterday there weren’t any. Today there are 3 that I know of:
        – First Baptist
        – Decatur Rec
        – Kris Webb’s Science Camp

        Amazing entrepreneurship! Decatur rocks as usual!

  4. There is no snow. The puddle on the road in front of our house is still a puddle, not ice. Why are the schools closed? Classic over reaction. As our tween is wont to say: EPIC FAILURE CSD! (Tongue firmly inserted in cheek). Like most parental units throughout the city though we were counting on this day. Big let down…. We have to work, there’s no school, there’s no snow to keep the children occupied – yet another day of xbox, playstation, kindle, ipad, maybe even reading!

  5. i used to walk to school in 2 feet of snow uphill both ways!. seriously though – cancelling today is a bit much. its either pointless coddling due to the cold weather or a bad call based on the small % chance there was of black ice. i won’t hold this against our great school system though as long as it doesn’t become a habit!

  6. So, bye-bye 3 day weekend in March? Is the info at the bottom of the CSD calendar reliable or does the superintendent announce the make up day? Calendar says “If one day is missed for inclement weather, it may be made up on March 10.” (“May” implies discretion.)

    Also, does anyone know when DHS report cards will be issued? We promised various rewards based on grades and the marking period ended December 20. We are new to the school system and still learning the rhythm.

  7. Cancelling school today at 8:30 last night was ridiulous. Not 10 minutes prior I looked at the weather radar and remarked to the Mrs. that it looked like we would be fine (not to mention that it was 46 degrees and the wind was quickly drying what little precipitation remained on the ground). If Edwards would have slept on it and looked out her window at 5AM this morning, the kids would be in school today. The need for advance warning doesn’t outweigh making the right decision, even if it means waiting a few hours.

    Who else remembers getting up early on those iffy “snow” days to watch the news and hoping and praying that you would see the name of your school on the screen? Not only was the anticipation exciting, but they usually got it right.

    1. And Decatur used to be the absolute last system to make the decision. Now it seems we’re the first.

    2. I dunno. I’m of two minds here. Waiting til the last minute to cancel school makes it that much harder to make provision for childcare, notify work, etc. So in that sense I appreciated CSD giving ample notice. But I also concede your point that had they waited (and keep in mind, MOST school systems around town also ended up closing too after dragging it out — Dekalb’s late start was an outlier), there probably would have been school.

      Above all, when it comes to the kiddos I appreciate erring on the side of safety over convenience.

      1. “MOST school systems around town also ended up closing too after dragging it out — Dekalb’s late start was an outlier), there probably would have been school.”

        I believe APS, Fulton, and DeKalb all had a teachers’ work day scheduled for today. It was staff who were to report later for DeKalb.

        1. Ah, did not know that. Well Cobb was closed. Not sure about Gwinnett. They’re usually pretty stubborn holdouts.

          1. Have coworkers with kids in Gwinnett. Today was a teacher work day already. But, they have called off school for tomorrow.

  8. Thank you DM for the virtual snow – I work in a virtual workplace and its the only snow I will see today. The kids home cleaning their rooms today – if I have to work so do they 😉

  9. In 2003 one morning it was 11 degrees–the coldest temperature I remember here in Decatur. (At the time we had not replaced our furnace and it was 50 degrees in my house.) CSD cancelled school because of the cold. The reasoning was that they didn’t want kids out at the bus stops in that temperature, since so many of our children do not have proper winter coats here in Decatur. I feel sure CSD will be closed tomorrow!

    1. Thank you, Tiptoe. I work in the city schools at the elementary level, and I know for certain that several of my students do not own warm enough coats for this weather. I would have been very worried while waiting for them this morning had school been open.

      1. I’ve always wondered about that reasoning. The same kids who may not have a warm coat also have parents who work 3 part-time jobs, none of which offer paid leave. If they miss work, they may well be fired. So they have to leave their elementary school children at home. On short notice, it can be hard for a single parent, maybe new in town, maybe without friends or family in the area, to find a place for their children to go. Is it better for the children to be staying at home without good supervision or to wait a few minutes at the bus stop with 3 shirts and a hoodie on then get on a warm bus and be in a warm school and warm after care (e.g. the Community Center or Boys and Girls Club.) Not sure. The school system has less liability if it doesn’t have children waiting at bus stops but are the children really better off out of school?

        1. I wonder about that reasoning too, for all the reasons you said. Plus, do we think that the homes of kids without warm coats are properly heated? Are there kids who haven’t had regular good meals now that school has been out for weeks? How much time do kids actually stand at the bus stop waiting?

          1. Excellent point about the meals. I forgot that the same kids that may have no more than a hoodie for a jacket also may count on the free/reduced breakfasts and lunches.

            1. A lot of the kids in the system who otherwise might not have a warm coat were probably Christmas Decatur/A Season of Giving recipients. Those who take a child’s wish list are told that a coat warm enough for waiting at the bus stop in the mornings is the most important thing to buy.

              1. I love that program. My favorite gift-giving was the year that an elementary school girl wanted an attractive coat, hat, gloves…….in orange! It was tough finding items that were warm, orange, and yet suitable for a girl! Thank goodness for the Internet.

            2. Last Chance Thrift Store has everything 1/2 off on Mondays. This means a heavy winter coat could be purchased for around $5 (probably less). I know transportation may be tough for many people, but really, if one wants a decent coat there are decent coats to be had for not very much money.

              1. Truly amazing place and can’t believe I only discovered it recently. It’s THE place to get formalwear that you will only wear once, IMHO. I picked up a gorgeous long, formal dress for $19. And that wasn’t even a Monday! (Darn, could have gotten it for $9.50 if I’d known…)

              2. I actually got a really nice, nearly new London Fog winter coat at Salvation Army for 10 bucks recently (which, for the sake of context, is what I spent on the last cocktail I had). I needed a new heavy coat, but knowing I will rarely wear it I didn’t want to spend much. I did feel a bit guilty about it, as someone else who might not be able to afford more missed out on a great deal.

        2. This seems awfully presumptuous to me. Assuming because someone may not have a coat for such extreme weather means their parents will leave them home alone unsupervised. That’s a big jump.

          1. I also don’t like people assuming that “only” $10 is affordable to someone on a fixed, limited or American minimum wage income.

            1. I think a winter coat should be on the necessity list, and I am quite confident that this money ($5.00 once a year) can be found in the budget. I think we would be hard pressed to find many families/individuals that spend EVERY single penny they have on necessities.

              1. Remember, though, there are plenty of winters around here where you don’t even need a coat. My son had a gorgeous wool coat that he had to wear for two years (even after it was too small) ’cause I paid so damn much for it and the year it really fit it was never more than hoodie cold

  10. IMHO, I do not believe the missed day will have to be made up. Remember January 2011? Didn’t need to make up the entire week missed due to flexibility in charter school status.

    1. One of the days was made up on the work day in March, the other four were forgiven, though I’m not sure the decision was based on flexibility provided by the charter. I don’t remember any of the other local systems making up the full balance of their days either.

      1. If your school calendar ends on a Friday, the state allows you to forgive 3 snow days before making any up. This is a longstanding rule.

        Due to the economy over the years, the state has offered discretion once it went past the 3 day mark (cause really? How often do any schools miss more than 3 days due to the weather) – Districts can decide to make up the extra or be forgiven those days. Not sure how the actual process works, just know it was an option from the last storm and know the state granted the schools in Ringgold the right to end their school year once the tornado ripped through the town destroying everything a couple years ago.

        In the past, despite being able to have the initial 3 days forgiven, CSD has opted to make up the days citing a commitment to education. Not sure if that will be the case for this year, but everyone should keep a close eye on it – especially if we are out tomorrow as the first two days of the feb break are listed as snow make up days in the event we are out two days.

  11. AJC reports two hour delay tomorrow morning for CSD: Anyone know if true and, if so, will there be bus service? Just add 2 hours to the usual pick-up time? Or did AJC mix up DeKalb County and Decatur again?

      1. At Home’s right. The reference is buried in the second paragraph of the main article about Tuesday closings:

        “School officials in the city of Atlanta as well as in Cobb, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Henry, Paulding, Pickens Troup and Walton counties announced Monday that schools would be closed Tuesday, when morning temperatures are expected to plunge as low as 6 degrees with sub-zero wind chills. Schools in the city of Decatur will delay opening for two hours Tuesday.”

        I would not consider this info accurate, as it hasn’t been report anywhere else and we’ve received no official word from CSD.

        1. On the CSD Facebook page, the official word (a comment from CSD) is that the article is in error, should be “Dekalb County schools” – but no update on tomorrow yet.

          1. Thanks for reminding us to look there–I always forget that CSD is on Facebook. My favorite comment on that page: “There are CSD kids running around all over Oakhurst…outside!” I’m still not convinced that kids waiting for the school bus in the cold is much of a risk to students. Most know by this point in the year exactly when to leave home such that they only wait a couple of minutes at the bus stop. Unless CSD expects that buses could have trouble starting or the schools can’t crank up the heat sufficiently. Buses not showing up at stops or chilled classrooms would be more of a risk.

            1. My 14 year old along with two friends just walked to & from Moe’s about 1 mile round trip; in 24 degrees! Oh the humanity!

  12. Cancelling today might be a bit much but tomorrow makes sense — please understand that there are so many kids out there who do not have transportation to school and have to wait for the bus in 7 degree temps or walk — and for so many of these kids the heaviest thing they have to wear is a hoodie. It is very dangerous for kids to be out in those temps without proper clothing. I imagine buses could be delayed too since they might not be able to start, leading to longer bus wait times. I know this might be where people start blaming the parents but the impoverished don’t have that many choices.

    1. Question is whether it is worse for those students to be home alone, perhaps with iffy heat, perhaps missing the free/reduced breakfast and lunch. I’m not sure. Hopefully, CSD counselor types weigh in on issues like this.

      For those not from snowy areas, be aware that kids in those areas don’t dress that much warmer than ours in the winter. It’s not like they are all wearing REI layers, Columbia ski jackets, and Sorel boots. (That’s for the tourists who come to the ski resorts.) Kids everywhere hate fat, puffy coats, boots, mittens and hats. The little kids wear what their Moms put on them but you’ll see plenty of elementary school students in hoodies and bare heads in New England. The middle school girls will have short skirts with bare legs. They get away with it because they get to the bus stop a few minutes before the bus comes and then they get on it and then they’re at school.

      However, if the extreme cold affects our buses and school heating, that seems like a valid reason to close, not so much the bus stop thing. School systems in cold regions of the country deal with buses and cold weather for several months a year so they are used to it. Buses don’t get delayed and schools don’t close just for the cold. We may not have the infrastructure.

      1. And please remember, Yankees, that this is the South. We are a hot, humid people. We are not used to your cold and we do not appreciate your sneers at our reactions. I am Southern on both sides going back 400 years. It is my evolutionary imperative to avoid cold at all cost.

            1. That’s still pretty amazing, both that your ancestry goes back so far in this country and that you were able to trace it.

              1. Oh yeah! Family historians on both sides. I have full direct-line family trees going back to the 17th century.

                In fact, the Murphree side (Murphrees came to the US from Ireland in the late 1690s, changed Murphy to Murfree because they were finally free of the English, then promptly bought slaves. Irony was lost on the way over, obviously) has its own genealogical society that once had a quarterly publication. I even inherited one elderly cousin’s collection of family photos dating back to the Civil War!

            2. Judging by your profile pic, I expected your lineage only went back to the early 1990’s. I didn’t realize that Animated Americans immigrated here as early as the 1600’s.

    2. Crazy talk. You don’t need a North Face to be warm. Just get a couple sweaters and a wool hat, 10-15 bucks at Salvation Army if that’s all you can afford. It is ridiculous to close school for 25 degree weather.

      1. In fact, for the heck of it I checked the prices of boys’ winter coats at Wal-Mart and Amazon. Very warm coats — brand new — can be had for under $20. Given that, I am guessing that a suitable coat at Salvation Army is in the single digits.

      2. I doubt school was closed for 25 degree weather. More likely, kids are out today because of the very real overnight threat of iced roads. CSD was in the unenviable position of being the only metro district to need to make a decision that actually affected kids and went the direction of being sure they didn’t set families up for the uncertain, but potentially dangerous challenge of unsafe roads this morning, while accepting the certain, but not safety based, hardship of having to make childcare arrangements. Fortunately for the powers that be, other metro counties are getting to inform our decision-making today.

    3. Before I moved to Decatur, I had a commute that required me to pass a row of apartment complexes that were clearly home to many Hispanic children. It always amazed me how many of these kids were under-dressed at the bus stop on very cold mornings. I don’t just mean a lack of winter coats, but kids wearing shorts, sweat pants, short sleeves,etc. I have no idea if they lacked proper winter wear items or just didn’t like wearing them to over-heated classrooms.

      1. My son would wear shorts every day of the year if I let him. I believe it is more an issue of parents letting their kids go out like that, than not having the proper clothing available.

      2. My son DOES wear basketball shorts every day of the year. Not even my helicopter blades can make him dress differently. Just like they say that toddlers will eventually eat a balanced diet without forcing if you put it in front of them and leave them alone, I figured that eventually kids get cold enough to learn to dress differently. I’m still waiting.

  13. First Baptist Church is guessing that DeKalb County and/or CSD will be closed tomorrow. This email is circulating:

    FBC Decatur Camp
    Oh, the weather outside is [still] frightful…

    The good news for everyone is that the roads are looking great! Since we expect that schools will close tomorrow due to the temperature drop (yipes!) we’ve contacted the staff and several of them are willing to brave the cold to come in for our first ever “snow” day camp!

    Right now we can accommodate the first 30-40 kids that sign up, so if you’re interested register now! We will send final confirmation to those who have registered tonight by 8p. Our counselors are excited to come up with some fun winter crafts and maybe even share some hot chocolate on a cold day, so hurry up and get your name in!

    Stay warm!

    Meg & Jimmy

  14. So I guess that we can presume that there will also be no school on Tuesday or Wednesday since the low Tuesday morning is 8 and Wed morning is 16. Three days of school out because of cold weather alone?

  15. DeKalb County is closed tomorrow.

    Any word, any where on CSD? I have meetings and need to make child care plans (my office is closed since APS is closed but I have a LUNCH meeting with free food pending….). Can’t CSD just plan its schedule around MY needs for sushi gratis?

  16. 16 we have had school. 7 is cold. I can’t remember the last time it was that cold. Diesel engines don’t like cold. In cold climates they have block warmers that are plugged in on cold nights. I doubt we have them and that could be part of the rationale to close.

        1. Nope. By little old southern road construction company that only took it out of the garage to carry orange cones (seriously!)

    1. “7 is cold. I can’t remember the last time it was that cold.”

      If I remember last night’s news telecast correctly, 1983.

  17. “Please continue to monitor the City Schools of Decatur website and Facebook page, and tune into the appropriate news channels, for information regarding school reopening on Tuesday.”

    Well??? What is the verdict? It is 5:20 and still no information.

  18. From the CSD Facebook page: “Based on predicted frigid temperatures, and for the safety of our students and employees, City Schools of Decatur will be closed Tuesday, January 7. All scheduled events, including extra-curricular activities and events will be rescheduled. Our 12-month employees should report at 10:00 a.m.”

  19. Well, this leaves us with only one option: Playdate at Phyllis Edwards’ house, everyone!

    See you there!

    1. Sounds like a great option but here’s two more for parents still feeling desperate not to spend all their leave days up in the first week of the year:

      1. For City of Decatur residents looking for something for the little polar bears (aka children) to do, there will be a special Polar Camp tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Decatur Recreation Center, 231 Sycamore St.

      Polar Camp is first-come, first served for a limited number of City of Decatur students in Kindergarten through fifth grade only. There is no cost for Polar Camp for Decatur residents. Parents will need to fill out registration and health forms when dropping off campers who are not already enrolled in after school programs.

      For more information, please call Children and Youth Services at 404-378-1082.

      2. The Science of Fun STEM camp will have a full day camp tomorrow. Our regular hours are 9:00-3:00 and extended hours are 8:00-4:00. (If you need until 5:00, that can be arranged- please email me.)

      If you are a repeat camper, there is no need to fill out the registration form again; you may simply email me. New campers may fill out the registration form at under the Break Camps tab or by clicking here Register. $69/day, $10 extended morning or afternoon. Ages 5+

      Don’t worry, if you register now and your school district is open tomorrow, we will simply cancel the day camp for you. Important: in the comments section of the registration form, please write in your school district. Please register by 9:00 pm tonight.

      Please help spread the word on your Facebook page and work/neighborhood networks.

      Kris Webb

      Kristen Thornton-Webb, M.Ed.
      Director, The Science of Fun

  20. With Decatur closing, that means no metro Atlanta system is opening tomorrow. I can’t remember when that last happened strictly because of low temps.

    1. The last time I remember this happening was Jan. 28th, 1986. I am from Central GA and our school system closed for 7 degree weather (I had to Google the temp. for that day.) So, I guess it is not unheard of. (This was also the day of the Challenger disaster.)

  21. Closed because “it’s cold.” I just don’t know what to say. Granted, I’m a carpetbagger from the Norf’, but this is just a bit much. I’ve been in CoD for 12 years and the national trend towards over-reaction to the weather is getting a bit much. Closing before a flake hits the ground & you only have a 30% chance of snow is inconceivable. Truthfully, it’s irresponsible.
    Closing tomorrow is palatable & even somewhat understandable but feels less so because we closed today. If there was 2+ inches of snow on the ground, the average kid would have played outside for hours, if allowed, and been soaking wet in below freezing temps. We go completely insane at the prospect of kids standing outside for 10-15 minutes in granted very cold temps. Which is worse for the child’s health?

    1. I posted this below from the Oakhurst Listserve. JIC you don’t see it. It is not just about cold. It is about school facilities. I think it is irresponsible of adults who are from a different region with a different climate and have no experience with the way the physical plant of CSD is set up and what the facilities can handle to level accusations without research. I can assure you if it was just about the kids being out the in the cold, schools would be open.

      I have lived in metro Atlanta since 1966. I am a retired public school teacher so the reasons listed below come from experience, both at home as part of my work.

      ~ The extremely low temperatures are dangerous for people outside for extended periods of time.
      ~ The busses are not winter proofed to the level needed for the extreme cold temperatures.
      ~ Sometimes the plant (building) manager is concerned about ability to heat and to also avoid frozen/broken water pipes.

      If you grew up or lived somewhere else where these temps are more common, then the preparation with clothing, engines, tires, plumbing, etc. are not as large an issue as here in metro Atlanta.

      It is far better for parents’ work needs to know your child does not have adult supervision than to be surprised early in the morning or worse yet during the middle of the school day.

  22. This is pretty weak. What percentage of kids don’t have jackets in Decatur? Schools are open in Denver and Boston for my relative’s kids. Its much colder there.

  23. Anyone who has ventured out of the south knows that a 10°F day is not an ice age like CSD is makes it sound like. The fact that the city’s nickname is “hotlanta” doesn’t mean that you should not have a true winter coat

  24. Hey, at least we all have power. Who remembers the ice storm of 2000? No power for 4 days, the temp in the house was 36 degrees when the heat came back on. Now that was rough!

  25. I remember that storm. We slept in the only room with a wood stove (got it up to 55 degrees or so). Two people and 3 animals, huddled together for warmth. Also, we vowed to get a gas stove (and we have) as we then had an electric. I got have something to make coffee in the morning. I still keep a non electric french press around on the off chance I will have no power.

    1. That is exactly what we had during the ice storm! Two people, three dogs and one small, ancient wood fireplace!

  26. i walked right down to the Holiday Inn and got a room. Real weird to check in without a suitcase!

  27. The argument that this is not the North and we aren’t prepared for cold just doesn’t cut it. It’s not like snow, which requires equipment. Cold requires…CLOTHES. Wear two or three sweaters if you need to, how about two pairs of pants? But that is NO excuse to miss school. What message are we sending our kids?

    1. This is from the Oakhurst Listserve. A resident replied to a similar screech of outrage:

      I have lived in metro Atlanta since 1966. I am a retired public school teacher so the reasons listed below come from experience, both at home as part of my work.

      ~ The extremely low temperatures are dangerous for people outside for extended periods of time.
      ~ The busses are not winter proofed to the level needed for the extreme cold temperatures.
      ~ Sometimes the plant (building) manager is concerned about ability to heat and to also avoid frozen/broken water pipes.

      If you grew up or lived somewhere else where these temps are more common, then the preparation with clothing, engines, tires, plumbing, etc. are not as large an issue as here in metro Atlanta.

      It is far better for parents’ work needs to know your child does not have adult supervision than to be surprised early in the morning or worse yet during the middle of the school day.

      Whenever someone pulls out the “think of the children” meme, my ears shut off.

    2. It sends the most valuable set of life lessons that you can learn.. Life is mostly unpredictable, sometimes unfair, and even when you are being wronged, you don’t always get the last word. Relax and forgive man, sheesh

      And I’m sure that even though the teachers probably have their own kids at home with them, they’re probably already working on accelerated lesson plans for yours.

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