Richmond and Edgefield County schools will start two hours later Tuesday and Wednesday mornings because of record low temperatures forecast for the area.
Columbia, Aiken and Burke counties have issued a two-hour delay for Tuesday only, but will continue to monitor the weather for any possible adjustments to Wednesday’s schedule, according to officials from the systems.
Students in all five districts should report to their normal bus stops two hours later than usual on those days.
Employees in Richmond and Columbia counties should report to work at their normal times, while Edgefield faculty and staff members will be on a one-hour delay. Staffers in Aiken County will also report two hours later with the students.
Burke County employees must report to school by 8:30 a.m., about 45 minutes later than normal.
Augusta Preparatory Day School announced it will also begin classes two hours later on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Students at St. Mary on the Hill School should report at 10 a.m. and will be dismissed at 2:50 p.m.
According to a Richmond County School System statement, the decision to delay school is made based on road conditions, the amount of ice that has accumulated, parking lot conditions and the actions of neighboring systems.
Because many students walk to school or wait outside for the bus, the temperature and wind chill also are taken into account.
All affected districts are urging parents to use the extra time in the mornings to dress children in warm clothes and in several layers to brave the frigid temperatures.
Accuweather projects Augusta’s high for Tuesday to be 30 degrees and its low to be 9. The coldest Jan. 7 high on record is 32 degrees and the lowest low was 15.
The chill could also tie for the fifth-coldest January high temperature ever recorded. According to National Weather Service data, high temperatures dropped to 30 degrees in 1982 and twice in January of 1970.