As snow flurries fall outside my window, I want to take a moment to remind you of our inclement weather practices as well as our notification procedures. Remember: amid the threat of inclement weather, our No. 1 concern is the safety of our students and our staff.
When severe weather threatens Atlanta, we diligently update our website and keep every school principal notified. Whenever you feel the need to contact APS about weather issues, please call your school first. I make certain all principals are updated in real time about our inclement weather decisions, so they will always have the information.
In addition, I encourage you to log in to the campus portal for parents, update your preferences for emergency notifications, which include robo-calls, text messages and e-mails at http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/CPP.
I first addressed our weather procedures back in November in the blog when severe wintry weather was not as likely and provided a detailed explanation of the decision process about when to close school operations when the weather conditions forbid a safe school day. You can review that post here.
In general, we maintain a vigilant watch on weather conditions, particularly through the harshest parts of winter. I have a Core Weather Team (comprised of representatives from APS Operations, Transportation, Safety & Security, Facilities Services, Communications, Curriculum and Instruction, Nutrition and Information Technology departments) which monitors reports from such groups as Atlanta Fulton County Emergency Management, Georgia Emergency Management, and the National Weather Service.
In a live conference call, we assess the weather information and emergency plans driven by Atlanta Fulton County Emergency Management Office, the National Weather Service and others. In these conference calls, the team relies heavily on National Weather Service input. Before I make a final decision, I also communicate with area superintendents.
We notify parents, caregivers and staff as soon as we make a decision based on weather conditions with the intent of providing such notifications at a time that enables you to take care of your children and families safely and expediently.
We understand our school community’s concerns during these moments, and we always do our best to communicate these latest developments with you.