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Metro Atlanta schools cancel in-person learning due to Hurricane Zeta threat

By Kristal Dixon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #atlanta-ga

Metro Atlanta school systems canceled Thursday in-person learning due to the threat of inclement weather from the remnants of Hurricane Zeta.

Public schools in Cobb, Fulton and Gwinnett County will hold remote classes Thursday, as will Marietta City Schools and Floyd, Hall, Douglas and Polk counties. Forsyth, Henry and Cherokee county schools have canceled both in-person and remote classes Thursday due to the possibility of widespread power outages.

Other school systems, such as Atlanta, Clayton and DeKalb, are not currently offering in-person learning due to the coronavirus. As of Thursday afternoon, those systems have not announced if they will cancel remote learning.

Much of north Georgia is under a tropical storm warning due to Zeta, which struck Louisiana Wednesday afternoon as a Category 2 storm and is expected to dump large amounts of rain on Georgia Wednesday night and Thursday. Wind gusts of up to 55 mph are possible, as are tornadoes and flooding, said meteorologists with Channel 2 Action News.

In Cobb and Marietta, school-level staff members and central office personnel will work remotely. The district has also canceled after-school programming for elementary school students.

Marietta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera said the threat of severe weather “creates a high degree of uncertainty” for students being able to access the internet for their lessons. When possible, teachers will be expected to engage with students through Schoology, the platform Marietta City Schools has used for virtual learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

“If weather conditions or lack of internet (and) power make this not possible for either our students or our staff, we will continue to show the same grace, flexibility, and compassion that have defined the last seven months in MCS,” Rivera said.