UPDATED: Decatur Schools Closed Tuesday

UPDATE: The city has announced that it’s offering “Polar Camp” for K-5 kids on a first come, first serve basis.  Here are the details…

It’s still really cold out, and City Schools of Decatur will be closed tomorrow. 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.

http://thedecaturminute.com/2014/01/06/breaking-polar-camp-tomorrow-at-rec-center/

From the CSD website

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.
Our staff has monitoring national and state weather services regarding the predicted freezing temperatures for Tuesday. District leadership has also been in communication with other metro school systems regarding their plans. The forecast for tomorrow morning is 7 degrees with a predicted wind chill factor of -13 degrees. According to the National Weather Service, the gusty winds and bitterly cold temperatures will combine to produce dangerously cold wind chills overnight creating a potentially dangerous situation for students and staff.  After careful consideration, CSD will close on Tuesday, January 7, to ensure the safety of our students who walk to school, the students transported by bus, and our employees.
City Schools Decatur was closed on Monday, January 6 due to the predicted icy conditions in the Metro-Atlanta area.  We are simply not equipped to accommodate black ice on roads and extremely frigid temperatures as schools in the northern United States may be.  We closed to ensure the safety of our students as well as our staff, many of whom travel a significant distance to work in our schools.  We cannot predict the effect of the extreme cold on the heating of our schools. Additionally, we have many students who do not own appropriate clothing for below-zero conditions. Having them walk to school, wait at the bus stop or be in schools that might not have heat is a chance that we are not willing to take.
 
We apologize for any inconvenience this may create for our families, but we must consider all factors and make the best decision possible with the information presented.  The safety of students and staff is always our top priority.  Thank you for your continued support of City Schools of Decatur. If you venture outside on Tuesday, please wear appropriate attire which includes a heavy coat, layers, a hat and gloves and be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

31 thoughts on “UPDATED: Decatur Schools Closed Tuesday”


  1. Anyone ever read the Little House on the Prairie books – now that was cold. Our kids are tougher than they get credit for and employers are less forgiving than the school leadership realizes.

  2. Thank you to the CSD for making sensible decisions, in line with local conditions and the decisions of all other districts in the metro area. Rest assured that plenty of us parents respect your priorities, and appreciate that you weighed evidence rather than paying attention to the weight of opinion on this board (which is not, I fear, typical anyway.)

  3. Unbelievable. Closed because a school might not have heat? If the heat doesn’t work, then close it. Closed because kids don’t have appropriate clothes? You don’t need special clothes just PUT ANOTHER LAYER ON.

  4. “We cannot predict the effect of the extreme cold on the heating of our schools.”

    They really can’t say whether the heaters will work tomorrow? That seems incredible.

  5. Perhaps some of you should consider the children who will be waiting for buses that are not as fortunate as your children to have proper outerwear for extreme temps. But wait, why think of anyone but yourself?

    1. Understood, but kids could wait inside and come out when the bus arrives – a large percent of parents/kids do that every day regardless of the weather. How many times have you been behind a bus waiting while parents and kids SLOWLY come out of their house and board the bus.

      1. When my daughter rode the bus, her stop was 4+ blocks away from our building, and the bus arrival could be 10 minutes or more on either side of the scheduled pickup time. Waiting inside was simply not an option.

    2. This is not about economics. You don’t have to be wealthy to be warm. You just need layers of clothes. Heck, wear 4 sweatshirts and 2 pairs of pants if you need to. How can we expect a school system to be responsible for kids and parents that can’t figure that out?
      Man I sound like such a grouch. Ugh.

    3. Cloudy with a chance for Meatballs tomorrow.
      School’s Cancelled!!!

      CSD’s logic can be extrapolated to canceling all August school days with temperatures greater than 95 degrees due the risk of heat stroke and the air conditioning might be up to the task. Certainly kids without coats could stay home. As a help care provider, I am certain the risk are minimal with a bit of layering. A couple of sweat shirts go a long way.

  6. So thankful that CSD made a thoughtful, considerate decision and post about today. Disappointed at the negative posts that make it seem as though Dr. Edwards was the only metro super to close schools. For all the northern folks that think it’s ridiculous to close, guess what- this is NOT the north. According to the nightly news, Atlanta is colder than Anchorage and we simply aren’t prepared. After it took my husband 30 minutes to get his car out of park because the transmission was frozen and 2 coworkers having their heat go out last night, the decision of CSD to close today makes perfect sense.

    1. Does not have to do with being a northerner or whatever. This is not like snow, which requires special equipment to remove it- I get that. This is cold, which just requires clothes. If actual physical plant issues develop due to the cold (burst pipes, heat not working) of course you send kids home but please, not because we’re afraid of the cold.

      1. Please explain how to simply send 2,000 kids home in the middle of the day while their parents are at work and the heat has failed in their schools.

        1. Come on every one. School is closed. That is that. Go play with your kids. Bake cookies. Set up a tent in the living room and pretend to camp. Have some fun. Being grouchy isn’t going to change any thing. Make the most of what you have. I am sure there is great potential that some homeless people have actually died due to weather exposure and here we all are complaining about the fact the schools have closed. Come on!!!

        2. Sending kids home early from school is a nightmare for the working parent or even the stay at home parent who tends to be out of the home during the school hours. It’s happened every once in a while, not recently that I can remember. I much prefer getting notice the day before, the earlier the better.

        3. If the heat is working when the kids arrive, even if the furnace failed right after school started, the building would stay warm for hours, and there is no safety risk. And that is only IF the furnace fails. Yes, it is a PITA when we get the call that the school is closed for any reason, but the potential for furnace failure is a BS excuse. Send someone over to the school at 5AM, and if it is on, assume it will work for the rest of the day. Every single one of us make the exact same assumption every single day in our homes (although some preppers have backups which have backups).

          That being said, although I don’t completely agree with the decision to close schools today, I don’t think it is a horrible one. I still think yesterday was a giant screw-up, and instead of acknowledging it, Dr. Edwards once again defended a poor decision (has she ever been wrong?). I think a lot of people would be much less upset about today (and the prospect of school closings tomorrow) if the school board owned yesterday’s premature decision (even with the standard spin about learning from it to make better decisions in the future).

  7. I wonder if the potential for frozen pipes are another part of the equation for CSD? I’m hearing about homes with burst water pipes all over the place from neighbors and from work colleagues. Maybe some schools have unprotected water lines in earthen basements or crawlspaces just like some of our homes?

  8. If they are going to cancel school tomorrow as well can they just tell us now so we can plan? The forecast has and will not change.

  9. 1. I respect CSD’s judgment on when to close school, especially because multiple factors probably go into the decision–functioning of the buses, school facilities–heating, water, etc., teachers’ issues, student issues, etc. School closures are disadvantageous enough to CSD that they have plenty of pressure to stay open as well as to close.
    2. I don’t happen to think that cold bus stop waits or 3/4 mile walks to school in the cold (preferably brisk) are a big deal for most children but we’ll all have to agree to disagree on the importance of that factor. Poverty exists in cold climates but it’s rare for even disadvantaged school children to have cold-related illnesses or injuries related to school attendance.
    3. If school is likely to be closed the next day, I’d rather hear earlier than later so plans can be made.
    4. While employers may be officially family-friendly, many supervisors are not in reality. And leave benefits are finite; leave for most parents gets used up with the standard school holidays and closures. Camp coverage is getting better but there are several times every year that camps are not available, especially at the beginning and end of the long summer and winter breaks. Part-time workers either have no leave or little leave. The lowest paid jobs are the least tolerant of last-minute changes in schedule or leave. Some employees are fired for taking leave with no notice. Even high paid workers have difficulty getting permission for unpaid leave in many personnel systems.

    1. Re work leave for parents getting used up: I forgot to mention that children staying out of school sick is another common way that parents’ leave is used up. So between breaks/holidays without camp coverage and staying home with sick children, some parents have little leave left. So we should be understanding of those who are on edge about whether the cold warrants school closure or not. The “results oriented” workplace with tight deadlines is still not real tolerant of employees taking time off, especially on short notice.

  10. According to weather.com, it’s 27 degrees F in Decatur right now and will go down to a low of 18 degrees overnight. At 7 AM, it will still be 18 degrees. By 8 AM, it will be 19 degrees and by 9 AM, it will be 22 degrees. It will go up above freezing about noon. It will reach a high of 41 degrees at 3 PM. No precipitation is predicted all day.

    Do we have school tomorrow?

  11. Sheesh. I can almost understand Monday’s cancellation: It may have been too icy in the morning. Today, though–that was ridiculous. Parents know how to dress their children for cold weather, and as relatively cold as it was this morning, a body would have to have been outside for a long time without clothes to have gotten frostbite. You can’t get a cold just from being cold, so what’s the big deal.

    Disclaimer: I lived in Boston for 20 years. They don’t close nothing up there unless they know for sure that there’s going to be at least 4″-6″ of snow. People dress for the cold and they deal with it. Sure, they complain louder than any other people in the nation, but when you’re shoveling snow for six hours only to have a plow bury it all in hardened slush, you get to whine. I know that CoD does not have the resources to deal with snow, but a day of cold weather isn’t worth closing over.

  12. This isn’t the North. School was closed. It’s over with. Glad this wasn’t a big deal to some of you. You’re not everyone.

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