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Gwinnett County Schools only metro district to return to classes Friday

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Georgia’s largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, decided to reopen its doors to students and staff on Friday as the rest of metro Atlanta school districts took one more snow day.

Metro districts including: Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb, Douglas, Carroll, Cobb, Clayton, Cherokee, Fayette, Floyd, Fulton, Forsyth and Paulding counties all decided to wait it out, closing schools for students until Monday.

Gwinnett School officials say they took necessary steps, working with maintenance personnel, to make sure campuses were safe and free of snow and ice. According to WSB-TV, there was only one case where a school bus encountered ice while traveling that morning. A second bus was dispatched allowing students to arrive to school on time.

Governor Nathan Deal extended the State of Emergency for Georgia until Sunday night.

On Thursday the Governor also offered his “clearest apology yet” accepting responsibility for not making the necessary preparation early enough which may have prevented the frozen nightmare that trapped thousands on metro Atlanta highways.

He also apologized to frustrated parents who were separated from their children for hours, because school buses were stranded and students forced to spend the night in schools.

More than three thousand school age children slept away from home Tuesday night during the height of Winter Storm 2014.

Metro school districts like Atlanta Public Schools decided to hold classes on Tuesday morning, while districts like Clayton County and Henry County Schools took no chances and cancelled classes.

Gwinnett County Public Schools, the state's largest school district with 169,150 students, was among those deciding to hold classes on Tuesday. The district did not have to house students stranded by the storm overnight. However, parents and buses did scramble to get kids home safely.

The school districts that decided to opening on Tuesday morning have defended their decisions to hold classes. In Georgia, each district is charged with making its own decision on whether or not to close schools.

State officials will be reviewing this policy, and other emergency protocols as they look to prevent a repeat of the frozen gridlock that occurred across the metro this week.

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