The safety of our students is a top priority for the teachers and staff of Atlanta Public Schools. Throughout the school year, weather conditions and other emergencies may require us to close one or all of our schools. To help you better prepare for such conditions, don’t forget these five points:

Realize that by 5:00 in the morning a decision is made: Because some of our buses are on the road picking up students as early as 5:30 in the morning, we make a decision as early as possible to give parents time to make other arrangements for child care, should the school close. If conditions change after the decision is made to remain open, our buses will still pick up our students, and their schools will still receive them and provide for their basic needs.

Find out about school closings by television, radio and web: The fastest way to get school closing messages to parents is through local television and radio news. When weather conditions predict unsafe conditions, the following local media remain alert and await our decision about school closings: WSB radio and local television WSB (ABC), WGCL (CBS), WAGA (FOX), and WXIA (NBC). You may also get up-to-the-minute reports from the school system’s own public radio station, WABE at 90.1 on your FM dial.

Remember, schools are open unless an announcement of closing is made. If you want to be doubly sure schools are closed, listen to more than one television channel or radio station. You should hear the same message on all outlets. You can also check the school system’s web site at www.atlanta.k12.ga.us.

Remember that when schools close, evening activities are canceled: When conditions are unsafe for students during the day, all other school and system events, meetings and activities in the evening are also canceled.

Know that we will feed and keep students safe: If schools are open and weather and emergency conditions change during the day, be assured that your child is being cared for, fed and receiving water. Our schools are prepared because they are the designated neighborhood sites for evacuations and refuge during prolonged emergencies. Emergency crews move quickly to restore power, water, and other services to schools and are in constant contact with the school system’s Maintenance Department.

Finally, use your best judgment: Your neighborhood conditions and the safety of roads must guide your decision about sending your child to school during weather emergencies. Ice, snow, tornado, and/or hurricane warnings coupled with the availability of electricity, gas and water in your local neighborhood will help you decide whether it’s safe for you to let your child stand at a bus stop or walk to school. Just as we work as a team daily to support your child’s learning, we also work together to assure your child’s safety.

Safety Plan: Our school safety plan includes protocols for all aspects of safety that impact students.  We regularly drill for fire, tornadoes, bomb threats, intruder threats and earthquake emergencies, with procedures for student safety and parent communication.  While we hope never to need these protocols, staff is always cognizant of our responsibilities to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff.