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When severe weather creates hazardous conditions in DeKalb County, regular school scheduling may be suspended. Advance preparation enables the DeKalb County School District to cope with such situations. The first condition for making a decision to suspend school district operations is safety. The condition of neighborhood streets during severe weather is usually far more hazardous than on major thoroughfares.
DeKalb County Schools' primary concern is the safety of all students—those who ride buses, those who walk, and those who drive their own cars to school.
The final decision for closing schools is made by the Superintendent. The Superintendent is in contact overnight with DeKalb County security specialists (the National Weather Service, the DeKalb County Police Department, DeKalb County Emergency Management, the Georgia State Patrol, and others) who monitor reports of existing weather hazards. DeKalb County Schools' transportation personnel are on scene between 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM to assess weather conditions.
The decision is made prior to 5:00 AM and sent to the public information officer who contacts the news media. This information is normally broadcast on local radio and television stations by 6:15 AM.
It is the parent's responsibility to monitor local news reports or to contact the local school to find out whether the school district has closed in the event of severe weather.
If, in a parent's judgment, weather conditions represent a threat to the child(ren)'s safety, the parent should keep the child at home.
School officials meet sudden emergencies during the school day caused by storms or tornadoes with precision and concern for the safety of students and staff. However, it is most important that parents be aware that they are responsible for their children if dismissal from schools takes place. Alternate arrangements must be made now by parents to house a child in case parents cannot be home.
When severe weather watches are announced, immediate emergency procedures are taken for safety in schools or for dispatch of students to homes. School principals make key decisions about the safety of all students and personnel under their supervision. The Superintendent or Superintendent's designee makes the final decision whether or not to dismiss school. The DeKalb County School District never dismisses students without this authorization.
For our students, faculty, and staff, safety is our primary concern. The Superintendent and staff are continually working to ensure that the school calendar is adjusted such that the instructional program is not disrupted. The Georgia Department of Education provides up to four excused days for Georgia school districts due to inclement weather or emergencies that would not require make-up days.