Some major Atlanta school districts will close on Election Day

11:20 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 Atlanta Education News
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A.J. Seger, 2, stands at a voting machine while his mother, Mindy Seger, far left, casts her ballot at Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Marietta on April 18, during the first round of voting to fill the empty U.S. House seat representing Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)

It’s among the biggest struggles for new parents -- coming to grips with their school calendar -- and Election Day tends to bring a surprise for many.

Some school districts in metro Atlanta will be closed on Nov. 7, forcing parents to scramble to find someone to watch their kids or else work from home.

Election Day Poll Hours: Most polling locations in metro area will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In Fulton County and the city of Atlanta, they will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

One of the closing districts -- Cobb County -- has more than 100,000 students. Atlanta Public Schools, the Cherokee County School District and City Schools of Decatur together add another 100,000 or so children who get an Election Day vacation.

DeKalb County had planned to close, but amended its schedule to make up for weather-related closures this fall and will remain open.

Cobb schools will be closed since they are used for voting, said district spokesman John Stafford. “The majority of Cobb’s schools are used as polling places so we designate the general election date as a professional learning day to avoid the logistics and safety impact of having school and polling concurrently.”

That is the case in many districts, yet some, including Georgia’s largest, will remain open. Gwinnett County Public Schools typically closes only when large voter turnout is expected, so parents there must follow the calendar closely from year to year.

“We typically close for gubernatorial and presidential elections as those bring out more voters and many of our schools are used as precincts,” said Sloan Roach, district spokeswoman.

Many metro districts have long planned to be open next week. Rockdale County had planned early release the day before the election, but, like DeKalb, changed their schedule to make up for time lost to weather and will hold a full day of school. Here’s the breakdown, with links to original or amended district calendars.

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