SCS officials monitoring wintry weather forecast for Friday

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The threat of winter weather in the Memphis metro Friday has Shelby County Schools officials on alert.

As always, the district plans to monitor conditions and decide whether to keep schools open.

"It's a hard call," said Memphis resident Carol Williams.

She does not envy SCS' decision of whether to cancel schools when wintry weather is on the way.

"I think they ought to let them know at least the night before instead of waiting until the last minute sometimes," she said.

Williams' granddaughter is a student in SCS. She walks to school.

SCS said sidewalk conditions play a role in its decision.

The district also looks at things like forecasts, temperatures and road conditions.

The city's Public Works Director, Robert Knecht, sat down with WREG this week to discuss preparations for Friday.

"We're going to be watching that to decide what we need to do. If we need to staff overtime, then we'll bring people in and work in shifts based on the scheduling of the weather, so we can be responsive," he said.

No matter what, the district said it always decides whether or not to close schools by 5 a.m.

Some folks in the community told WREG they think SCS ought to consider closing sections of the district when necessary, meaning it would only shut down schools affected by the weather.

"What do they do? They shut them all down, whereas sometimes it's a problem with busses in the outer areas," Williams said.

Mary Catherine Schallert is married to a teacher, and her children will attend SCS schools. She sees both sides.

"The hard part of that is you have teachers living out in the rural areas who have to drive in, so, there's always issues that make it difficult to make that kind of decision," Schallert said.

A SCS spokesperson told WREG no idea is ever off the table, but this would be tough, considering the large size of the district.

The district set up an interview with WREG Thursday to further discuss these winter weather decisions.

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