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Winter is Around the Corner!!!

Hello Tri-Valley community! I hate to say it, but it’s that time of year again…..time to start planning for snow!!  Even though predictions have softened and we may have a milder winter than last year, there is no doubt that we will be seeing the “white stuff” soon enough. I wanted to take an opportunity to share with you what goes into the decision-making process regarding snow delays, closures or early dismissals.

If there is a prediction for bad weather on any given day, I will start watching forecasts the night before the day snow is predicted. On the day of the bad weather, my day starts at 4 am as I begin watching how the prediction is coming to fruition, where the greatest impact is seen and any additions or changes to the original forecast. At approximately 4:30 am I will be in communication with Rolling V Bus Company and the Neversink Highway Superintendent to gauge their reaction to the weather and possible challenges it will bring. If both Rolling V and the Highway Superintendent tell me they are confident in maintaining the safety of our students and staff getting to school, we will open at the regularly scheduled time. If, however, one or both are unsure of the current conditions or need more time to address whatever issues the weather is creating, then we will move to a school delay. After moving to a delay, I will remain in contact with the other parties to see how things are progressing. If conditions have not improved sufficiently to insure that everyone will be safe coming to the campus, then a final decision will be made to close the school for the day.

The primary choice as to whether to stay open or close is, as I have repeatedly stated, the well-being of our students and staff. A decision to close school is never an easy one. I know that some students will have less to eat if school is closed, or perhaps will not be as warm as they would be in school. That being said, sometimes “Mother Nature” simply wins the fight and no other choice can be made.

Likewise, there are occasions when we are already in school and the weather takes a turn for the worse. Again, any decision to close school early would be made after consulting with Rolling V and the Highway Superintendent about the conditions. Unless absolutely impossible, I will try to make sure that all students are fed their lunch before we have to leave.  Again, safety is the most important aspect of making any decision!

Once any decision has been made, we will communicate it to the local radio stations, television stations, and most importantly, on our website and social media. The information will be on the website and social media literally, within seconds of a decision being made. I want to give all parents and the community as much notice beforehand as possible so everyone can plan accordingly.

Lastly, if school is canceled, all school activities are canceled as well! The same would hold true for any community activity scheduled on our campus that day. I need to give my maintenance staff ample opportunity to clean the campus and make sure we are safe and ready for the next time students and staff come to school.

As you can see, the decision to close school or release early is complicated and has many “moving parts.” The old joke among school Superintendents is that you are “darned if you do and darned if you don’t.” That may be true, but I would rather have a parent upset with a decision to close school early that ever worry about a student being harmed because we stayed open too long, or because we made someone come in on bad roads or in bad conditions.

If you have not already done so, find us on Facebook and Twitter! These are the quickest avenues for the school to share information with you at a moment’s notice.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 985-2296. I thank you for your continued support of the Tri-Valley Central School District. Enjoy what is left of the fall weather!