Muscogee County clarifies its decision to cancel classes - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Muscogee County clarifies its decision to cancel classes

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Muscogee County School officials say they leaned more on the side of caution when canceling classes Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Superintendent David Lewis said the decision came late Tuesday night after talking with area meteorologists on the possibility of freezing rain. "The forecast was ever changing," stated Lewis.

After consulting with the National Weather Service and contacting local meteorologists, superintendent David Lewis admits it was a close call.

"We made the decision to err on the side of caution and safety," he said.

WTVM's Meteorology team was in on the conversation with school officials. Our morning weather man, Greg Majewski, said freezing rain is a critical element when forecasting.

"It could have easily gone the other way, and that's why schools said we're not going to take any changes on safety," said Majewski. "Again, we're good at forecasting, but when you're talking about a difference in a few miles or a degree or two, we're not quite that sophisticated."

The district clarified its decision in an email sent by Communications Director Valerie Fuller.  It states that the predicted wintry mix causing hazardous driving conditions in the northern and eastern parts of the county prompted the move to shut down school.

Parents were notified over the phone via Connect Ed at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"You can also call 706-748-2046. That's our black board Connect Ed recording line and whatever goes out from that line via phone or email will be recorded on that line," said Fuller.

The email also addressed make up days. The state superintendent wants to issue a waiver to the districts, giving them the discretion to forgive up to four student days for inclement weather.

The State Board of Education will entertain the idea at its next meeting on February 20. 

As for a specified time to notify parents of school closings, district officials advise, there is no cutoff time. The decision is made on a case by case basis, pending weather conditions. 

The Muscogee County School District has announced a two hour delay for Thursday, Feb. 13.

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