By Kristi Reed
Several metro school systems have announced plans to close Tuesday, Jan. 7, due to the dangerously cold temperatures expected in the area. By 6 a.m. Tuesday morning -- when Gwinnett County high school students are headed for bus stops -- the temperatures are expected to be in the single digits. The temperatures are not expected to be significantly warmer when the elementary and middle school routes are scheduled to run.
Nearby, Barrow County Schools have announced that classes have been cancelled for Jan. 7. Atlanta Public Schools will also be closed. Other school systems closed tomorrow include Forsyth County, Cobb County, Hall County and Walton County.
At 2:42 p.m., Gwinnett County Public Schools announced plans to close.
Jorge Quintana, GCPS Director of Media Relations, explained in an email that school officials have been working today to make sure facilities have appropriate heat and that buses will be able to run.
"Extreme cold can affect diesel engines, especially after the buses have been sitting over the break. In addition, we will continue to gather information from public safety agencies and weather services regarding the temperature and weather-related issues," he added. "All of these factors will be taken into consideration when making the decision on whether or not to hold school."
In announcing the school system closing this afternoon, Quintana wrote, "Gwinnett County Public Schools will be closed Tuesday, January 7, due to the extremely cold temperatures expected overnight and concerns regarding safety and operational issues."