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Atlanta Public Schools vs. the Weather

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Atlanta Public Schools vs. the Weather

Snow in the south always causes stress.

Snow in the south always causes stress.

Snow in the south always causes stress.

Snow in the south always causes stress.

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While hearing that there is a possible chance of snow is a dream come true for many kids living in the South, it is most Atlanta Public Schools officials’ worst nightmare. Although the threat of snow had never been too much of a concern to the district, the “Snowpocalypse” of 2014 changed everything. With delayed buses and hundreds of students trapped at school, APS seemed to fit right in with the other unprepared schools in Georgia that were making national headlines. Increasing reports of snow and ice this year has forced APS to make some tough decisions that haven’t always paid off.

The question of the year seems to be “When is it snowy and icy enough to call off school?” Some students, such as junior Dominique Boss, remember getting stuck at school and having to spend the night during the fated “Snowpocalypse.” Not wanting a repeat of that, many people think that school should be canceled as soon as the forecast predicts snow. “I was the only kid left in class. It was horrible, and I just don’t want that to happen again,” said Boss.

However, calling off school isn’t that easy. Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has to consider what will be best not only for North Atlanta, but rather the entire district. Many factors such as National Weather Service reports and decisions from the governor’s office have to be considered.

In addition, canceling school means make-up days, and many students are already less than excited about the district’s current plan to extend the school day. Changing school hours can cause transportation problems for students and interference with after-school activities. However, not everyone is disappointed with the plan. “When you have to teach 1,200 years of history, make-up days are helpful,” said AP world history teacher Caitlin Tripp.

When it comes to bad weather, APS is in a tricky position. Closing school may mean making up time, but it also guarantees that everyone can get home safely. Despite personal preference about APS’s past decisions on closing school, it is clear that APS always has the safety of staff and students at heart.

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