Some metro Atlanta schools closing early ahead of severe storms

Others are canceling extracurricular evening programs
Clayton County to close schools early Thursday ahead of storms predicted to bring gusty, damaging winds to metro Atlanta. (Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Clayton County to close schools early Thursday ahead of storms predicted to bring gusty, damaging winds to metro Atlanta. (Jason Getz /

Clayton County Schools and City of Decatur Schools announced Thursday they plan to end classes early to beat storms expected to bring inclement weather to metro Atlanta.

Clayton said it was dismissing high school students at 1 p.m., followed by elementary students at 2 p.m. and middle schoolers at 3:30 p.m.

“This decision (is) in keeping with the district’s commitment to student and staff safety,” the school system said in a release.

Decatur schools leaders, via a webpage alert, said they plan to dismiss students 15 minutes early.

“Each individual school will communicate their change of dismissal plans to their communities as soon as possible,” the alert said. “Please be advised that these plans could change due to weather warnings. We will communicate any changes as they occur.”

The dismissals come as forecasts from Channel 2 Action News predict a line of strong and severe storms could reach North Georgia as a cold front as early as noon and push warmer air eastward. Channel 2′s Brian Monahan said the storms could be in metro Atlanta by 3 p.m., with gusty and damaging winds.

Tornadoes are possible, though the risk of that is low to moderate, he said.

In separate postings, Cobb and Fulton school districts said they were monitoring the situation.

“We may experience rain, high winds, and flash flooding, which could make road conditions dangerous,” Cobb said. “Such weather could affect dismissal times and delays in getting students home safely. Please continue to monitor the district’s communication channels (email/text/app/social media) for updates.

“If conditions warrant a change in dismissal times, we will update you as soon as possible,” the district said.

Atlanta Public Schools, Cherokee County Schools, Cobb County School, DeKalb County Schools, Fulton County Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools and Marietta City Schools posted that evening extracurricular activities — including athletics — have been canceled. Cherokee, Cobb and Fulton added that their afterschool care programs will be offered as usual. In Gwinnett, all elementary afterschool programs will remain open for those families in need.

Clayton said all athletic, extracurricular and after school activities — including the district’s remediation program — are cancelled. CampusKids will provide service until 4 p.m., the school system said.

A planned in-person community meeting with District 1 Clayton school board member Jasmine Bowles was postponed to a later date because of the storms.

Story is developing.

Staff writers Cassidy Alexander, Vanessa McCray and Ty Tagami contributed to this report.