Gwinnett County Public Schools will continue doing all digital learning on Friday as the district continues efforts to recover from damage done by the remnants of Hurricane Zeta.
District officials reported there has been ongoing power outage issues across the county because of the storm, which blew through Gwinnett county early Thursday morning. Downed trees brought down by the storm have also been issue, with at least two people reported dead in Buford after a tree pinned them in their bed, and several more reports of trees in roadways.
"Due to ongoing power outages in various areas of the county and downed trees that will make some roads impassable for buses to pick up students in the morning, Gwinnett County Public Schools will hold a digital learning day for all students on Friday, October 30," district officials said in an announcement Thursday afternoon.
"Both in-person and digital learners will participate in digital learning from home. Should students not be able to access lessons due to ongoing power outages they will have the opportunity to complete the work at a later time."
As many as 50 Gwinnett County schools were without power at about 7 a.m. because of the storm.
Gwinnett County Public Schools officials said efforts to get power restored to the school was ongoing throughout the morning, and by 10:30 a.m., the number of schools without power was down to 24.
Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks told the school board during a meeting on Thursday morning that some maintenance shops also lost power early Thursday morning because of the storm, which moved through Gwinnett with tropical storm-force winds.
The district had already announced on Wednesday that all students would participate in digital learning on Thursday because of the storm's then-anticipated impact on the county.
"Digital learning is going as well as can be expected on a day like this," Wilbanks told the school board.
District officials acknowledged they were not only dealing with power outages at the schools, but also outages that resulted in students not having power to get online for digital learning as well.
"Due to power outages in various areas of the county, some students may be unable to participate in digital learning today," district officials said in a message sent out to parents through their SchoolMessenger system. "If students can access and complete lessons online, they should do so. Students who are not able to access lessons will have the opportunity to complete the work at a later time.
"Afterschool activities may take place this afternoon. Coaches and activity sponsors will communicate directly with students involved."
As was the case Thursday, teachers are not being asked to come to school. They will instead be asked to teach from home. Twelve-month district employees are being asked to report to work if it is safe for them to do so.
The district will not be providing meals for students on Friday, however, because of the fact that teachers and support staff will be working remotely.
The district said afterschool and weekend activities could continue as schedule, but coaches will be communicating information about that to students involved in those activities.