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Local schools to remain closed today

In the end, Jack Frost put the freeze on school homework, quizzes and tests for an entire week.

Officials with the Clayton County and Henry County school systems announced Thursday that they will be closed today, as this week's snow storm continues to wreck school calendars.

Officials from Clayton State University said Wednesday that they, too, had decided to cancel classes for Thursday and Friday, because of hazardous road conditions. The university's classes that are scheduled for Saturday will take place at the discretion of the professors teaching those classes, the university said.

Henry County Schools Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Rodney Bowler said school officials in Henry are hoping this will be the end of the weather's impact on area schools. "We don't have any anticipation that we will be out any longer than tomorrow, as a result of this weather situation," said Bowler, on Thursday.

Both local school systems, as well as Clayton State, were already scheduled to be closed Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, which means local students will — for the most part — have spent more than a week out of school this semester. The unexpected closure of schools came the week after public school students began their spring semesters.

Schools Reschedule This Week's Events

Several school-related activities, scheduled to take place this week are being re-scheduled, officials with Clayton County Schools and Clayton State University said. The Clayton County Board of Education's meeting that was supposed to take place last Monday, has been moved to Wednesday,Jan 19, at 6 p.m.

Clayton County Public Schools Fine Arts Director Kay Sledge added that the three performances of the all-county musical, "Willy Wonka," have been moved to the weekend of Jan. 21-23.

The performances will be held at 7 p.m., on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, and at 2:30 p.m., on Jan. 23, at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center, which is located at 2530 Mt. Zion Pkwy., in Jonesboro.

Since school systems in both Clayton and Henry were closed all week, the districts exhausted the four allotted "emergency days" allowed the State Board of Education, on Thursday. That means they will have to plan a make-up day, at some point during the spring semester, since students will have missed one day more than the allotted time.

Information about how Henry County Schools will make up that day was not available on Thursday, but Clayton County Public Schools Spokesman Charles White said Clayton Superintendent Edmond Heatley is looking at options.

"Dr. Heatley has some options, but he will review them with his leadership team, and the [school] board, before he makes a decision," White said.

Clayton State University Interim Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Mark Daddona announced in a written statement that CSU has extended its spring semester "Add/Drop," late-registration, and fee-payment deadlines until Jan. 21. The deadline had originally been Thursday.

"The registration system is currently open for students to add and drop classes," said Daddona, in the statement. "I think it is important that we still offer four days of add/drop and late registration. We want as many students as possible to be able to attend at least one class session, prior to making a decision as to whether or not they want to stay in a course."

County Governments Resume Operations

Henry County Communications Director Julie Hoover-Ernst reported that all Henry County Government offices re-opened during regular hours Wednesday, and courts re-opened on Thursday. She said county government, with its approximately 1,800 employees, was completely closed Monday and Tuesday as a precaution against the inclement weather and adverse travel conditions.

Clayton County's government re-opened for operations an hour later than usual on Thursday. The county' offices were closed Monday through Wednesday. Offices will also be closed on Monday, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday. ShelHaywood, the clerk for the board of commissioners, said the commission's meeting that had been scheduled for last Tuesday was cancelled, and another regular meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., at the commission's office, at 112 Smith Street, in Jonesboro.

Morrow City Clerk Evyonne Browning, reported that a meeting of Morrow's City Council, which was supposed to take place last Tuesday, has been re-scheduled for Jan. 18, also, but at 4:30 p.m., at city hall, at 1500 Morrow Road, in Morrow.

Meanwhile, Jonesboro City Clerk Janice Truhan, has also announced a re-scheduled date for a meeting. The Jonesboro City Council will now meet on Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Jonesboro Police Department, located at 170 South Main Street, in Jonesboro.

Next Week May Have Rainy Start

While this week began with snow, National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Leary said next week may begin with rain. There is a distinct possibility of "liquid precipitation" in Monday's forecast, he said. He said he anticipates rain chances will increase from 20 percent on Sunday night, to 40 percent during the day, on Monday. And they will climb further, up to 50 percent, heading into the evening hours, on Monday.

Leary added that the forecast calls for daytime highs in the 40s, on Sunday, but temperatures will fall into the lower 30s Sunday night. Monday's highs, however, are expected to rise onto the low 50s, he said.