Emergency School Closings
School closings due to inclement weather or other situations will be announced on social media, local radio and television stations; posted on the district web site; and communicated via e-Alert to subscribers.
The decision to close schools in weather-related situations normally will be made by the superintendent by 6 a.m. The safety of students and staff is the basis for any decision. Key factors that are considered include current and projected weather conditions, particularly for the Town of Amherst and northern Erie County; and road conditions, as reported by the Amherst Police, the town highway department, and the district's Transportation Department. On rare occasions, severe weather conditions and road closures or travel bans in other parts of Western New York may impact the district's ability to operate school because staff members are unable to get into work. (e.g. Snow-vember Storm of 2014!).
At times, temperature and wind chill factors are also a consideration in whether or not to close schools. Health officials recommend that districts consider closing schools when the wind chill falls to minus-25 F or lower. Major factors when dealing with extreme cold is the ability to get buses on the road in a timely manner (e.g. amount of de-icing needed; also, diesel fuel begins to gel at sub-zero temperatures).
When schools are closed due to inclement weather, local television stations (Channels 2, 4, 7 and Spectrum News) will be notified as well as the following radio stations: WBEN-AM (930); WKSE-FM (98.5) and WNED-AM (970). The fastest way to get news about a snow day is by signing up for eAlerts and following the district on Facebook and Twitter.
If schools are closed because of bad weather, all other activities including athletic practices and contests, student activities, and Community Education classes are cancelled. If schools are closed for other reasons, activities and sports that are not affected by the specific situation (e.g. power outage, water service disruption)may be permitted with prior approval of the building principal.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of parents or guardians to make the decision regarding school attendance.The option to keep a child home from school when parents consider the weather conditions to be dangerous is always at their discretion. However, if school is in session, parents should notify the school that their child will be absent.
Closing during the school day
On rare occasions it may be necessary to close a school during the day due to loss of power, loss of water or other emergent situations. If this occurs, procedures are in place to transport students to an alternate site, if necessary. If you are instructed to pick up your student at a location other than their school, you will be asked to present photo ID before the student will be release to your care. If it is determined that school cannot continue for the duration of the day due to an emergency situation, the district will notify parents via its emergency notification system.
Parents are reminded to provide the school office with up-to-date emergency contact information, including work and cell phone numbers. All families should make arrangements for their children in the event students are dismissed early because of an unanticipated emergency. Your children should be familiar with a safe alternate site (e.g. neighbor’s house) where they may go in the event that you are not home.
The District’s e-Alert System service allows parents, students, staff and community members to sign up to receive email and text messages about weather-related school closings. You can register on-line by clicking HERE or on the e-Alert banner on the homepage. e-Alert is an opt-in service; you may opt out at any time by revising your information on the web site. Please note that cell provider text messaging rates may apply.
The district's emergency notification system also includes automated phone messages, text messaging, and email to communicate directly with parents, guardians and staff in case of a school-based emergency that affects the health and safety of students. No sign-up is required.