The weather of Western New York can be very enjoyable. The changes from spring to fall bring a rich set of experiences. Winter too offers us great opportunities for recreation and celebration. However, as we all know, winter also presents us with challenges. The safety issues that wind, ice, and snow advance are ones we are all too familiar with and have learned to cope with. From time to time it becomes necessary to cancel a day of school rather than transport students to school. The determination of when this happens is never easy and involves a great deal of communication and deliberation. Below are some key aspects of the process used:
Prior to the start of school, district officials monitor the weather forecast and the potential for adverse weather.
At approximately 5:15 a.m. we begin to evaluate and discuss road conditions. Local highway authorities and law enforcement agencies are consulted to assist in determining safety concerns.
Typically, neighboring school district superintendents and transportation supervisors are contacted to share their plans and local conditions (which may vary due to local geography).
No later than 6:15 a.m. a decision is made as to whether to offer district transportation and keep schools open. If the decision is to cancel school for the day, local radio and television stations are immediately contacted and use of the automated SchoolMessenger system is an extra attempt to notify parents/guardians and staff, but it should not be considered the primary or sole means of notification. Please rely on the news from the media first.
If the school day is not cancelled, we have the utmost confidence in our fine transportation staff and their ability to transport our students. Once children are at school, we do not dismiss early. It is the opinion of the district that early dismissal places children in greater danger as many parents and caregivers are not home to receive students in this situation.
Note: A process similar to this is also used for cancellation of after school and evening activities. Generally, a decision for this type of cancellation takes place by 1:30 p.m. and applies to all after school and evening events.
Keep in mind that in all instances, we are dealing with natural occurrences. In spite of weather predictions, we have seen many situations where what is expected and what takes place are different. It is not uncommon to see days where the following types of scenarios take place:
Lightly snowing at 5:00 a.m. and a blizzard at 6:30 a.m.
Snowing like a blizzard at 6:15 a.m. and sunny at 8:00 a.m., or
Snowing with white out conditions in one location of the district and clear in another.
All these types of situations could lead to criticism and second-guessing. Please trust that at all times district officials are concerned about making the most appropriate decision for our students. In all instances, we want to thank out parents for their support and understanding, our transportation staff for working to deliver our most precious cargo to school safety on a daily basis, and our students for acting in a safe and responsible manner when being transportation to school.
Feel free to call your child's school office or the District Office at (716-)736-2631 with questions or concerns, or use the Contact Us button at the bottom of this page. Thank you.
Please check these local news and radio stations fpr closing information: Buffalo WGRZ, WBEN, WKBW, WIVB and 97 ROCK Dunkirk WDOE Erie, PA WICU, WSEE, WRIE, WJET, STAR 104 Jamestown WJTN and WKZA