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Many parents of Flint Hill Elementary School have contacted the school and the Newton County School System (NCSS) Central Office with concerns and frustration over traffic delays as a result of the weather related closure of Airport Road near the Covington Airport. Upon learning of the closure, Newton County School System officials immediately notified Flint Hill Elementary School parents via a School Messenger Call that the road was closed and to expect delays during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up of students. These delays can be expected to continue until the roadway is fixed and reopened for traffic. Newton County School System cannot control the road closure or the high volume of traffic in the area.

NCSS has been informed that deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office will assist with the high volume of traffic at the school each morning and afternoon until Airport Road is reopened. That will help alleviate the situation somewhat; however, traffic is still expected to backup considerably, especially during the morning commute, as the roadways in the immediate vicinity will not only be full of school traffic but also daily work commuters.

NCSS encourages a two-pronged approach to help relieve the traffic congestion. First, parents of Flint Hill Elementary School students are encouraged to leave early if they are driving children to school. Flint Hill opens its doors each morning for student arrivals at 7:00 a.m. According to officers at the school, there have been no major traffic backups or delays in the vicinity of the school until after 7:15 a.m. As parents wait until closer to the start of the school day to drop off students, the traffic dramatically increases and backups occur. This is not something that can be fixed or avoided, even with officers conducting traffic. The longer you wait the more traffic you will encounter.

Second, NCSS encourages residents in the area of the school to use alternate routes to work that bypass Highway 142 if they are not dropping off students. This will allow residents on their way to work to possibly avoid the bottlenecks that have been occurring on Highway 142 as parents make their way to Flint Hill Elementary School.

The majority of traffic delays have been encountered during the morning commute as roadways are busy with both school and work traffic. Delays in afternoon traffic have not been as severe as the school dismissal time does not coincide with end-of-day work traffic.

NCSS encourages all commuters to have patience during their morning and afternoon drive. Leave early and expect delays. School officials will work with parents whose children have been marked late during this time. The safety of our students is and always will be our number one concern.