Bibb, Jones schools closed for rest of week

Macon dodged no bullets with Irma

Macon insurance man Coulby Lewis says "city fared very well for what it could have been."
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Macon insurance man Coulby Lewis says "city fared very well for what it could have been."

Some area schools have canceled classes for the rest of the week, following Tropical Storm Irma’s aftermath.

Jones and Bibb county schools, including Academy for Classical Education, and Cirrus Academy in Macon will be closed Thursday and Friday. Laurens County schools will be closed Thursday.

The school systems cited continued power outages and road concerns in their decisions. In Bibb, six schools still don’t have power, and 42 percent of bus routes are obstructed by debris and downed power lines, according to a press release from the district.

The Bibb district also called off all middle and high school softball and football games this week, except for the varsity football game between Howard and Veterans. It’s rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at McConnell-Talbert Stadium in Warner Robins.

Representatives for Bibb, Bleckley, Monroe, Houston and Baldwin county schools said it was unknown at this time whether students would have to make up days missed this week. Beth McLaughlin, Houston’s director of community and school affairs, said the Georgia Department of Education may offer guidance since the entire state has been impacted, and it’s early in the school year.

“No decision has been made at this time, but parents and staff should be prepared for makeup days at some point during the school year,” Bibb’s announcement said.

Districts are allowed up to four days off that don’t have to be made up for emergencies or disasters, said Meghan Frick, interim director of communications for the state Department of Education, in an email. In addition, many of the state’s schools are allowed flexibility and can have certain rules waived as Strategic Waivers School Systems.

“When the Governor declares a state of emergency, the State Board of Education may authorize a local school system to depart from a strict interpretation of the provisions in law regarding school day,” Frick said. “In this situation, a local school system will request the state board to provide such authorization.”

Communications directors at Stratford Academy and First Presbyterian Day School said their students would not have to make up days.

Other weather-related school announcements:

▪  Macon READS spirit night — The elementary school event has been changed from Thursday to Sept. 21, at the center court at Macon Mall.

Andrea Honaker: 478-744-4382, @TelegraphAndrea