As Hurricane Irma churns its way north, anticipated high winds and heavy rains have forced the closure of schools throughout The T&D Region.

Orangeburg Consolidated School Districts 3, 4 and 5 will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

"Due to the hazards related to extreme weather conditions and heavy traffic issues associated with southern and coastal evacuations, all district employees are excused from reporting to work on these dates unless they receive specific instructions otherwise," OCSD5 spokesman Bill Clark said in a release.

"These conditions also make it unsafe for school buses to operate and transport children to and from school. It is our priority in these situations to ensure the safety of our students and staff," he said.

The OCSD3 and OCSD5 board of trustees meetings which had been scheduled for Tuesday have been cancelled and will be held at a later date.

Felton Laboratory School will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Phyllis Overstreet, public information officer for Bamberg School District 1, said the district will be closed on Monday.

"A decision regarding Tuesday will be made early Monday afternoon," Overstreet said.

Bamberg School District 2 will also be closed on Monday.

BSD2 Superintendent Dr. Thelma Sojourner said, "We're doing that in light of caution. We don't know exactly what's going to happen with the storm."

Sojourner said she and BSD1 Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting will be meeting with Bamberg County Emergency Services Director Brittany Barnwell at 3:30 p.m. Monday to determine whether school will be closed Tuesday.

"That meeting will determine what happens for Tuesday. We'll have enough time to get parents information through the media, and we have a call-out system we use with our parents to get them information in time," Sojourner said.

The Calhoun County School District will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Pam Kennedy, the superintendent's executive administrative assistant, said classes will resume on Wednesday in the Calhoun County School District.

Dr. Shawn Johnson, superintendent of Barnwell School District 19, said his district will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

Orangeburg Preparatory School Headmaster Evan Powell said the school will be closed Monday and Tuesday "and then we'll monitor all weather conditions accordingly."

Calhoun Academy Headmaster Becky Haigler said, "We are going to close on Monday and just watch the weather and see about Tuesday before we make a decision on that."

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College will also be closed on Monday.

The college is asking its campus community to "continue monitoring the college website and local media for updates,” OCtech Public Relations Coordinator Wendy J. Crider said.

South Carolina State University and Denmark Technical College closed at 5 p.m. Thursday until further notice. Remaining S.C. State students will be required to take shelter at the on-campus emergency shelter, Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center.

Claflin University announced Friday it will be closed through Tuesday.

Voorhees College will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. The closure only applies to students. Employees must show up for work.

All OCAB Head Start centers in Orangeburg, Calhoun, Allendale and Bamberg counties will be closed Monday. All Head Start Centers will open and close on the same schedules as their local public school districts.

St. Paul's UMC Daycare and Preschool will be closed Monday. Further plans will be discussed Sunday.

Contact the writer: dgleaton@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5534. Follow "Good News with Gleaton" on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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Health Reporter

Dionne Gleaton has been a staff writer with The T&D for 20 years. She has been an education reporter, regional reporter and currently writes features with an emphasis on health.

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