In the event of inclement weather, safety of students and staff is always the only consideration when deciding whether or not to close school. Different factors are looked at including road conditions, wind chill, anticipated daytime snowfall, and the ability of staff to travel safely to and from work. Dialogue with numerous individuals including the Transportation Department, the Town Highway Department, law enforcement, and weather forecasters begins as early as 3 a.m. and often the night before when adverse weather is anticipated. Since WNY weather conditions can vary significantly in a small area, can change abruptly and often contradict forecasts. The questions that are decided are: Is it safe for students to travel to and from school, whether they are riding the bus, walking, being driven, or driving themselves, and will staff be able to safely travel to and from work?
The decision is communicated as soon as it is made using every avenue at the district’s disposal including TV and radio stations, automated phone calls, automated text messages, and information posted to social media and the website. Often, there are some who disagree with the decision to close school or to keep school open, and that is understandable. Sometimes, due to the unpredictable weather, conditions change after closing/opening decisions are made. Student safety is the most important thing to all and families’ individual decisions are respected.