Reminder About Winter Weather
SNOW. ICE. WIND CHILL. SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES.
Winter along the Hudson River can bring changes in weather that leave winter sports enthusiasts smiling and parents of young, new drivers crying.
But for a school superintendent, dealing with the uncertainties of changing, unpredictable weather and road conditions present one of the most challenging tasks of the job: making the decision about calling for a delay, or cancellation.
And usually, no matter the call, it’s usually an unpopular one.
A lot goes into making this decision. Here is what you should know:
THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF STUDENTS IS OUR #1 PRIORITY.
While there is usually a frenzied excitement surrounding a winter weather event, the truth is that children love, and need, structure, including the structure that comes during a normal school day. If it is safe, and we are able to safely open the buildings, we will bring them in. If it isn’t, they will stay home.
Remember, in addition to road conditions, we also must assess how quickly buses, parking lots, and sidewalks can be cleared. And also remember that just because the road you live on looks clear, other areas of the district may not be ready for travel.
WEATHER DELAY/CANCELLATION TIMELINE
Weather is unpredictable and can change quickly. It is rare that we will make the call the night before, almost always it will be made in the morning. Members of our leadership team hit the roads early, sometimes by 3 AM or 4 AM, to assess conditions. Their assessment, along with conversations with our highway department and neighboring school districts, is vital to the decision-making process.
Dismissing school early is even trickier. Many parents can’t get home in time to meet their children when we have an early dismissal, so this decision is never made lightly. It takes our drivers approximately three hours to get the children on both bus runs home safely, so the predicted timing of a storm start is a key factor.
Notifications of delays and closings go out via School Messenger, the website, and our Facebook page. Parents are asked to always have a backup plan in place for a cancellation, delay, or early dismissal, especially when the forecast is calling for weather.
THE FINAL DECISION BELONGS TO PARENTS!
As a parent, you make the ultimate choice about what’s best for your child. If you feel we’ve made the wrong decision, you can certainly choose to keep your child home.
WHAT ABOUT RECESS?
Our Elementary students love recess, so we go outdoors as long as the “real feel” temperature is above 20 degrees. Children should come to school dressed appropriately for outdoor play.