The purpose of this FAQ list is to provide parents and community members with information necessary to be prepared for the school delay or closing of the East Greenbush Central School District.
1) How are parents/community members informed of a delay or closing?
Parents may find closing or delay information, communicated as soon as a decision is made, via the following resources:
- East Greenbush Central School District website
- East Greenbush Central School District Facebook or Twitter pages
- Text message to parent/guardian cell phones (if they have opted in to SchoolMessenger)
- Local network affiliates (CBS6, News10, WNYT Channel 13, Spectrum News)
- Area radio stations
2) What factors are considered in the decision to delay or close?
Weather and road conditions are consistently monitored throughout the District beginning the night before. Using a variety of resources, the District gathers as much information as possible before making a decision:
- Information from Rensselaer County Department of Transportation, Highway Superintendents in the Towns of East Greenbush, North Greenbush, Schodack, Nassau and Sand Lake, bus drivers and state and local police on road conditions, particularly amounts of snow and ice;
- The time snow starts and the amount of snow;
- Weather predictions for the morning and afternoon hours;
- Building conditions (power and heat);
- Parking lot conditions; and
- Temperature and wind-chill factors.
3) Who makes the decision to delay or close the District?
The Superintendent makes the final decision, based on the above factors and recommendations from the District’s Transportation Supervisor.
4) When is the decision made?
The Superintendent makes the final decision no later than 5:30 a.m. so that television and radio stations, bus drivers, staff members and parents can be notified.
5) Will students have remote learning on snow days?
East Greenbush CSD is participating in a state pilot program during 2020-21 that allows for schools to implement remote learning in instances when inclement weather would otherwise have closed school for a snow day. All students will engage in remote learning activities from home and complete review activities that have been provided by teachers. Teachers will be accessible to provide direct support for asynchronous learning activities during their scheduled office hours. Teachers will also be available to answer questions through email as needed. There will not be live virtual instruction as there is on Live Virtual Wednesdays.
While we recognize and appreciate the tradition of “snow days” and the disappointment some students and parents will feel as a result of this change, we need to ensure that our district meets the number of required student attendance days this year. Meeting the required number of instructional days for students ensures our schools receive needed state funding.
The option to implement remote learning days on days which would otherwise be considered a snow day, will be implemented only for the 2020-21 school year due to the unique constraints associated with COVID-19, the changes previously made to the September school calendar and the impact of the October power outages on our instructional calendar.
We hope that students and families will understand the situation and that all students benefit from the review activities which will be provided by teachers on remote learning days. The schedule and expectations for students on these days will be flexible. On remote learning days students will not be expected to engage in virtual live instruction as they are on Virtual Wednesdays. Teachers will be advising students as to how to access their remote learning via Google Classrooms and other remote access files.
6) How do I find out if a particular event is canceled or postponed due to school closings or inclement weather?
The East Greenbush Central School District website and Facebook pages will detail some level of notification for programs such as field trips, before and after school programs and athletic practices and events. For other events, contact the event organizer. Many have blanket policies such as canceling an activity if schools are closed or delayed.
7) Can I elect to keep my child home even if schools are open? Will this be an excused absence?
Parents may decide to keep their child home. A student absence on a day when District schools are open will not be excused.
8) If the start of school is delayed, can I drop my child off at school at the normal starting time?
Prior to the beginning of the school day, we do not have staff members assigned to supervisory duty and cannot be held responsible for your child. Please make alternate arrangements.
9) Does a school delay impact breakfast or lunch service?
During a delay, students are offered normal breakfast and lunch service, although the timing of their lunch periods may be altered slightly.
10) What happens if weather conditions are safe for travel in the morning but inclement weather arrives during the day into the afternoon, bringing the potential for hazardous driving conditions in transporting my child home from school? Does the District call for an emergency early dismissal?
The safety of our students, staff and school visitors is of utmost priority to the District. There may be days that weather conditions are safe for travel in the morning but hazardous by the time of the District’s regularly scheduled dismissals. When this is the case, the Superintendent of Schools will consider an early dismissal option.
The District understands the challenges parents may face when the District declares an emergency early dismissal, but will only call for such a dismissal when conditions are warranted. The District also appreciates the patience of parents when it comes to an emergency early dismissal. It takes some time and coordination to mobilize our transportation drivers, get them to our schools and transport your child home. In some instances, transporting your student home may take longer than normal because of inclement weather conditions, thus backing up the pick-up and drop-off time of another student at another school. The District makes every effort to transport students home as safely as possible.
When the District declares an emergency early dismissal, parents will be notified via an automated message to the phone number they provided*. The District will also place an announcement on our website and Facebook pages, and send notification to local television and radio stations. Parents may also call the main office of their child’s school.
The East Greenbush Central School District encourages parents to periodically check their emergency contact numbers to ensure they are accurate in the event of an emergency closing.
11) What happens when the number of school days lost due to emergency school closures exceeds the number of school days built into the school calendar?
State law requires a specific number of days of classroom instruction each school year. If the District exceeds the number of emergency days built into the school calendar, school must be in session during upcoming scheduled recess breaks.
12) Sometimes schools have power outages or other emergencies such as broken pipes. When this happens, what is the procedure the East Greenbush Central School District follows?
District personnel make every effort to protect students, staff and school visitors, provide for their comfort and ensure their safety. If a situation arises in which the District needs to send students home, parents will be notified via an automated message to the phone number they provided*. The District will also place an announcement on our website and Facebook pages, and send notification to local television and radio stations.
13) How can I make sure my student is safe?
Since parents are the primary protectors, they will need to decide what is best for their child. The option to keep children home when weather conditions are extreme is always at the parents’ discretion and the school understands and respects that decision.
In cold weather, students should be dressed appropriately. No one can predict when a fire alarm might go off or when buildings might have to be evacuated due to an emergency. Bulky coats and boots can be stored in classrooms, or other areas designated by the principal.
Parents are urged to make arrangements at the beginning of each school year for their children in case of school closures and to plan for the rare situation when it is necessary to close an individual school because of a power failure or another circumstance. Children should know where to go if a parent will not be home and how to contact parents and guardians. Parent contact information, including work telephone numbers, should be kept up-to-date with the school. If you are instructed to pick up your student at a location other than their school due to a school closure, you will be asked to present photo ID before the student will be released.
*To sign up for automated calls/text messages from East Greenbush Central School District, please contact the main office of your child’s school for a student verification form.