Emergency Closings & Delays
When inclement weather occurs
The Warwick Valley Central School District may be forced to close or dismiss its students early when inclement weather occurs.
Closings, delays, and early dismissal information is communicated in many ways, including:
- Posted on the homepage of this website, and on the district’s Facebook and Twitter pages
- Sent via the district’s notification systems – SMS Messaging Service and School News Notifier.
- Announced on the following TV stations: WAVC-TV, WNBC-TV, FOX 5/NNYW, Hudson Valley News 12
- Announced on these FM radio stations: 92.1 Lite-FM; 92.7, 96.9 WRRV; Star 93.3; 93.5 WTBQ; 94.1, 95.7, 96.7, 103.1, 107.7 FOX; 94.3, 97.3 The Wolf; 96.1 KISS FM; MIX 97.7; 98.9 Fox Oldies; News Talk 99.3 WKIP; 100.7 WHUD; 101.5, 106.1, 106.3 WPDH; and 107.3
- Announced on the following AM Stations: 1110 WTBQ; 1220 Fox Oldies; 1340, 1390 Radio Disney; 1450 WKIP-AM
Please keep in mind that a power outage could prevent closure information from being posted on the website, Facebook and Twitter, or from being sent via SNN, or from being viewed on cable TV. If the power is out, please listen for school closure announcements on one of the radio stations listed above.
Please do not call the bus garage about closings. Those phone lines must be kept free for emergency calls; this can be especially critical in bad weather.
Order of dismissals
When there is an early dismissal, high school and middle school students are released first, along with the parochial schools and then the elementary schools. This ensures that the older siblings of elementary students arrive home before younger brothers and sisters. The time between dismissals is approximately 45 minutes. Whatever the grade level, parents are reminded to make sure that all school-age children know what to do in case of early dismissal.
The decision to close school during inclement weather is never made lightly. Many factors are considered—with student safety being the most important. The decision to close school or to have a delayed opening or early dismissal is based on the recommendations of transportation and facilities directors, and after thorough analysis of the following relevant factors:
- Information on road conditions from transportation staff and police. District leaders must determine whether or not road conditions will allow drivers to transport students to school safely. Careful consideration is given to the most dangerous roads in the 86 square miles traveled by district buses. Beginning at 3:30 a.m., the director of transportation drives many of these roads, particularly those in higher elevations, to determine if they are safe for school buses. Input on road conditions is also received from the police and Warwick’s highway supervisor.
- Current weather conditions and accumulation. The decision is also based, in part, on the amount of snow that has accumulated and whether precipitation is continuing.
- Temperature and wind chill. Since some of our students walk to school and most must wait outside for the bus, frigid temperatures could put students at risk.
- Weather predictions. While administrators prefer not to make a decision based on weather predictions, sometimes this is unavoidable, especially when a major snowstorm is predicted. Our district receives regular updates from two sources: the Weather Service and Doppler Radar. Updated every five minutes, Doppler provides detailed reports on the storm’s current location and its projected path.
- District buildings and parking lot conditions. Buildings must have electricity and
heat, and maintenance staff must be able to clear snow/ice from the school
sidewalks and parking lots.
- Other school districts. It is common practice to check with neighboring districts to see if their schools will be open or closed.
As soon as the decision is made, the public is notified through the School Messenger Service (SMS) and local radio and TV stations. An announcement is also posted on the district website and on district Facebook and Twitter pages. Text message and email notifications are also sent out to registered users via The Warwick Valley Central School District School News Notifier (SNN).
Every possible effort is made to release this information before 5:30 a.m. so that parents of students and staff are notified before they leave for work.
It is important to note that, when the decision is made to open school, it cannot be reversed later in the morning without endangering students. Many parents rely on our decision to determine when they will leave for work. If conditions worsen, students cannot be transported right back home, since many will return to unsupervised bus stops and empty houses. When weather conditions warrant, students may be released early, after giving adequate notice to parents through the media, district website homepage, School Messenger Service (SMS) and the School News Notifier (SNN) opt-in alert service.
While administrators go through a comprehensive decision-making process before deciding to open or close school, this decision is not an exact science. If school is open, but you feel it is not safe for your child to attend, use your best judgment. Additionally, parents of teen drivers who are concerned about them driving in poor conditions should know there is a seat available on the bus for every student.