Tuxedo already takes back one day due to snow; M-W safe…for now

| 22 Feb 2012 | 04:42

And this week’s weather could change all that as well After emerging from the deepest of deep freezes this past week - which included another two-hour delay on Tuesday and Thursday for schools - area parents may continue to wonder how many more snow days can happen before districts start “taking back” days? Last week, students were in school for only two days, due to the Monday Martin Luther King Jr. holiday combined with two snow days. In Tuxedo, while three snow days were allocated for the district, four have already been used. Tuxedo School District Superintendent Joseph Zanetti said on Tuesday he’s already “taken back” one day: The Friday before Memorial Day. Four of seven days already used The Monroe-Woodbury School District has allocated seven snow days for the school year, of which four have already been used, according to District Superintendent Edward Mehrhof. With several school districts in neighboring Rockland County having a three-hour delay last Friday - when area schools were closed, some parents wondered if a similar delay policy could implemented locally. Mehrhof said it would be highly improbable because of the staggered opening times of the high school, middle schools and elementary schools, and the bus transportation issues that would arise. Coordinating with Greenwood Lake Zanetti thought there might be some value to a three-hour delay policy, based on the K-12 scheduling. “This is something we’re looking at,” he said. Zanetti specifically also consults with Dr. Richard Brockel, his counterpart at the Greenwood Lake School District, because decisions on delays or closures need to be made based on conditions in both districts. Students from Greenwood Lake travel to Tuxedo’s George F. Baker High School. Zanetti also noted his decisions are not necessarily based on what neighboring districts do, but rather what’s going on specifically in his area. “We tend to not cluster (with decisions of other districts),” he said. “We look at the specifics of our district. Last week when other districts had a two-hour delay, conditions here were such that we opened on time.” While they understand the inconvenience for parents, both superintendents stressed the decision to have a delayed opening or school closure is based on safety first. Factors in the decision making include road conditions early in the morning based on the information they gather from their own transportation staff, information from highway road crews, police and weather forecasts. - Nancy Kriz