As cold weather approaches, district sharing winter weather protocols

As colder weather approaches, the district is sharing this reminder of our winter weather protocols, including how we communicate when school is delayed or closed.

Student safety is our primary concern in these decisions. When winter weather conditions are predicted, we monitor the forecast closely. Our transportation director checks road conditions and we communicate with neighboring school districts and other local officials.

While we understand that there can be differing perspectives regarding when a snow day is called, or when is not called, please know that we make the best judgment we can based on the available information.

We do recognize that there are times when school is open, but families are concerned about the condition of the roads. You always have the right to keep your child home in this event. Additionally, I would like to remind you that in any kind of weather, the school bus is the safest way for students to get to and from school.

Communicating Snow Days

Information about snow days is communicated through School Messenger texts and e-mails, our website homepage and local media stations and websites.

Families are automatically connected to School Messenger. Community members can sign-up through our website. If you are not sure if you are receiving School Messenger e-mails and/or texts, please e-mail powerschool@niskyschools.org.

When school is closed or delayed, we plan to communicate this information by 5:30 a.m.

Delayed Openings

When conditions warrant, we may utilize a two-hour delay to the start of the school day. When there is a two-hour delay, the bus will arrive two hours later than the usual pickup time. When a two-hour delay is called, the district retains the option to close school for the full day. This decision will be made by 7 a.m., and communicated promptly. The district’s philosophy is to avoid one-hour delays.

Afterschool and Evening Activities

If students cannot be transported to and from afternoon and/or evening activities safely, they will be canceled. Decisions about afterschool activities will be made by 12:30 p.m. and evening activities by 2 p.m.

Early Dismissal During Inclement Weather

The district’s philosophy is to avoid early dismissal. We do not want family members rushing home on less than ideal roadways, and we believe that keeping children at school is often the best way to keep them safe during bad weather. However, in the event that this is necessary, notification will be made as early in the day as possible and we will utilize phone calls, text messages and e-mails through School Messenger.

Wind Chills and Cold Temperatures

Severe climate conditions, where temperatures and wind chill dip into certain extreme ranges, can cause concerns for the safety of children. When persistent wind chills of -25 degrees or below are predicted, we are likely to delay or close school, consistent with guidance from the New York Statewide School Health Services Center.

Please note that school is open on its usual schedule unless otherwise announced.

As we prepare for another winter, our school community’s awareness of these protocols and communications methods will help things go as smoothly as possible.