This area houses a compendium of frequently asked questions posed to District administrators and staff. Click on a link in the navigation bar at left forr information specific to a school level.
How do we make weather-related schedule decisions?
When determining whether there will be a snow day, an early dismissal or a delayed opening, the safety of students and staff is always the primary concern. The time that snow starts to fall is a key determining factor in whether or not there will be a snow day. If the roads are hazardous and if our custodial and grounds crew will not have adequate time to provide access to the school buildings, we declare a snow day. This decision is often made after our Director of Transportation and our Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Facilities have driven around the district at approximately 4:00 a.m. A decision is often made in collaboration with Superintendents of surrounding districts. With that said, our district is hillier than most on Long Island, so our decision-making can be somewhat different. A delayed opening is held only when we feel that the roads and the conditions around our schools will improve when we have an additional hour or two. Usually, it relates to warming temperatures which will give ice and snow a chance to melt. If temperatures are not increasing, and if conditions will not improve, there is generally no purpose to a delayed opening. An early dismissal is usually called if weather conditions deteriorate during a school day. The main purpose is to get everyone home as close to normal time as possible, especially our elementary students who are not dismissed from school until approximately 3:15 p.m. Generally speaking, high school and middle school students are dismissed an hour earlier than their usual time and elementary students are dismissed as close to their regular time as possible.
When we are able to make a weather-related decision the night before an expected storm, we do so. Unfortunately, sometimes the weather lines are not clear, so we are not able to make the decision until the morning. Now that we have a sophisticated communication system, we are able to alert parents about changes to the school schedule very quickly. Alerts are made through postings on our website, through our email notification system and through our voice messaging system. Additionally, weather-related schedule changes are broadcast on local radio and television stations after they receive alerts from us.
Like most school districts in New York State, we build snow days into our calendar. If we need to go beyond those days, we could potentially be required to extend the school year, or use vacation days to make up for the missed instructional time.