BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Most school districts in Western New York have used up their snow days and any unscheduled days off in the future will have to be made up.
Niagara Falls Schools Superintendent Cynthia Bianco said, “We look at other days on the calendar that students were not supposed to be in attendance and make that an attendance day.”
In Niagara Falls, they are two snow days away from being forced to cut into spring vacation. It’s a tough decision that is based on several factors.
David Spacone, the district’s supervisor of operations and maintenance, told News 4, “We gauge what the city is able to accomplish in the timeframe between the storm hitting and the actual start of school and if our parking lots and walkways are clear, that’s one portion of it, but then we have to take into account if the city is ready.”
These decisions are usually made in the early morning hours, however, depending how a storm pans out, classes may end early or after school and evening activities could be canceled.
Spacone said, “Conditions as they change by the hour, we’ll stay on top of that.”
Although it is the most common reason, snow isn’t the only factor that could force school districts to have to cancel classes.
Spacone explained, “This week we have had several electrical problems. National Grid was able to rectify the problem in the morning so we lucked out there. That, and water main breaks; this year has been very troublesome for the water main system.”
Despite all the factors, safety is the biggest concern and in some cases, keeping schools open is the safest option.
“We have a lot of children that we know of that we are feeding, keeping them warm so it’s a very big decision when we close schools because I’m not sure that all of them will have that in their homes,” said Bianco.