County schools delay opening, Madison schools on schedule
MADISON COUNTY – With bitterly cold temperatures in the forecast, Madison County Schools will delay opening, while Madison City Schools are keeping the normal schedule.
On Jan. 3, county schools leaders decided to start two hours later than usual on Jan. 6-7. Buses will run two hours later than normal.
Also on Jan. 3., Dr. Dee Fowler, superintendent of Madison City Schools, said, “We do not anticipate any delays to our school schedule. We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the weekend.”
Fowler and the Madison staff consider four factors in decision-making for school delays or closings:
* “Will the roads be safe for driving?”
* “Can we run our buses on time?”
* “Can we provide a comfortable climate in our buildings?” On Jan. 3, maintenance workers double-checked buildings for “cold spots” and made adjustments. “All our buildings will be checked over the weekend,” Fowler said.
* “What do we gain by a delay? If the gain is only three or four degrees in ambient temperature, it gives us pause to change everyone’s routine,” he said.
In addition, Fowler reminded parents that car lines “tend to increase in bad weather. Please allow extra time. Elementary car lines open at 7:10 a.m. Do not drop off prior.”
If a child needs warm clothing, the school’s principal or counselor can help in providing winter-appropriate wear. Principals and counselors “have resources that they can make available to you on a confidential basis,” Fowler said.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents to prepare for dangerous winter weather. The National Weather Service is predicting below-freezing temperatures from the evening of Jan. 5 through Jan. 8.
The agency offered tips to deal with the impending ‘deep freeze’:
* Dress in loose layers of warm clothes.
* In case of electricity outages, have emergency equipment for heating, but exercise caution to avoid fires.
* Check on family and friends.
For up-to-date weather conditions, visit the National Weather Service site at weather.gov and click North Alabama on the map.