It is almost that time of year again. The weather in Upstate New York during the next few months can influence attendance at school and events. Please be advised that it is in the best interest of all to be ready with family plans for weather related emergency closings. It is recommended that parents and guardians of Weedsport students have emergency plans to cover a closing for a snow day, a school delay, and early dismissal plans. Those parents and guardians can tune into local radio and television stations as well as the Internet every day to find out about any late openings, closings, early dismissals, or event cancellations. Please understand that media outlets are barraged with closing and delay notifications from many school districts within the Central New York region during a weather episode. As a result of this onslaught of information, on occasion, delays or mistakes can be made in regards to the reporting of information. Thus, please allow me to encourage you to check in to more than one media outlet to be sure the message relayed is accurate.
During inclement weather, District officials closely monitor weather forecasts using a variety of weather services. In addition, the officials confer with the transportation supervisor, highway department officials, and other school districts as necessary to assess the conditions. Please allow me to share the following relating to school delays, closings, early dismissals, and cancellations:
· At approximately 5:00 a.m. or earlier the maintenance staff begins the task of snow removal from the parking lots, driveways, and walkways. In some instances, the snowfall may be so heavy that these areas along with the roads may not be cleared in time to start the school day. Therefore, we may need to delay the opening of school to complete the snow removal process.
· At other times, a snowstorm may be close to ending just as the school day is about to begin and thus a delay must occur to ensure that walkways, roads, etc. are clear.
· The closing of school is a difficult decision. The majority of the time, the decision to close school due to inclement weather is made no later than 6:15 a.m. This decision to either close or delay is made based on the information that is known at the time. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that the blizzard that is occurring at 5:30 a.m. can slowly diminish in strength and the weather conditions can turn into clear skies and sunshine by 8:30 a.m.
· It is possible that a delay will become a closing if the conditions worsen or fail to improve.
· In the event that the weather unexpectedly takes a turn for the worse while school is in session, it is necessary for students to be dismissed early from school and/or events cancelled. If school is let out early, the child(ren) need to be certain of where to go. I highly advocate for families with school age children to take the time to review with their child(ren) the plans for an early dismissal.
This aforementioned is shared with you in hopes that you will have a better understanding of the process employed when considering delays, closings, early dismissals, and cancellations. Ultimately, the decisions that are made are made with the best interest of the students’ safety first and foremost in mind.