Different story for snow days in 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Sunday and Monday, the southern portion of Western New York was socked with snow, leading to some of the first school closings of the year.

That’s a far different story from what districts faced this time last year.

“I think everyone is certainly more sensitive to having their backup plan for how they would use vacation period to fill in for those days,” said Dr. Lynn Fusco. “And they’re acutely more aware of it now, having been through it last year.”

Last year’s snow had a big impact on planning for the future, if only on local districts’ mentality.

Lancaster schools has had their plan in place since an ice storm blew through WNY in 2006. Last year, like many, they were faced with too many days off school, far too early in the year.

They used up their snow days during the November storm, but breaks the rest of the school year were spared, as they shuffled their schedule.

Williamsville schools were closed six days in the 2014-15 school year due to weather. Four of those days happened in November, and one in each January and February. Because they were allotted six days, there were no make-ups.

“You have to have students in attendance 180 days, and you’re never going to make everyone happy,” Fusco said. “So the best way to deal with it is to plan to have in excess the number of days you need for emergency days.”

Schools in Depew were forced to alter their calendar multiple times last year thanks to the November storm. The district was forced to used its annual allotment — and an additional day — before the calendar turned to 2015.

“Those weather challenges were always such a difficult decision, because it is complex,” Fusco said. “You’re dealing with a community, you want to make sure that kids are safe and you have to do it in a very short window.”

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