Schools close early ahead of expected snow

A forecast of snow meant students in schools across Blount County get out of class early today.

All three school systems announced they were closing school early in anticipation of an inclement weather forecast for the area.

Blount County Schools director Rob Britt said students were to be dismissed at 1:30 and 2 p.m. today. “We’re going to dismiss our K-5 students at 1:30 p.m. and our middle school and high school students will be dismissed at 2 p.m.,” he said.

Britt said the central office had been monitoring the weather all morning and had been talking with staff at the National Weather Service in Morristown. “They’re expecting that a good bit of the snow will be coming in about 3 o’clock this afternoon and so in order to get all the kids home safe and not have to be worried if the buses are going to make it through their whole routes we felt it best to be proactive and give advance notice to parents so they can make arrangements,” he said.

Britt said the school system’s Friend’s afternoon program will remain open on their regular hours.

Alcoa City Schools director Tom Shamblin said he and his staff had been monitoring the weather reports most of the morning. “Most forecasters were saying snow flurries starting at noon and more significant snowfall as early as 3,” he said. “That’s why we decided to dismiss at 1 p.m. so we can have them home before there is any hazardous weather. We would rather have them home before driving conditions become bad.”

Shamblin said the after school care would also be closed.

Maryville City Schools director Stephanie Thompson said school would be dismissed an hour early in Maryville. “We’re going to close an hour early today but we haven’t made a decision about tomorrow,” she said. “We’ve made a lot of phone calls around the area to see what is coming this way and we’ve kept a close eye on the radar.”

Thompson said students would be released on the following schedule: Maryville Intermediate School will dismiss students at 1:40 p.m. The elementary schools will dismiss students at 1:50 p.m. Fort Craig School of Dynamic Learning will dismiss at 2 p.m. and Maryville Middle School and Maryville High School will dismiss students at 2:20 p.m.

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