Emergency closings, delays and early dismissal


With winter weather just around the corner, here is information about our school closing, delay and early dismissal procedures.


School closings, delayed openings and early dismissals resulting from weather conditions or other situations will be provided to the media and posted on Shenendehowa’s website, email and social media sites:

When a decision is made to close school, delay school or release students from school early, the Superintendent contacts administrators to initiate a communication tree and the Public Information Officer notifies the media, posts the notifications on the website, SIS, Facebook and Twitter.

Decision-making Factors

Many different factors are considered when making the decision. During the night, when a storm is in the weather forecast, our transportation staff:       

  • Continuously monitors the weather from the National Weather Service paying close attention to the forecasted duration of the storm as well as the severity
  • Monitors road conditions reported by the N.Y.S. Department of Transportation as well as local town and county transportation departments
  • Drives the roads throughout the district paying close attention to neighborhood roads, reduced visibility of bus stops as a result of snow banks, etc.
  • Works in cooperation with our buildings and grounds staff to ensure that we can have school roads and sidewalks plowed in time
  • Communicates with surrounding schools to understand weather conditions and the impact on those districts
  • Makes recommendations to the Superintendent who typically makes the decision by 5 a.m.

Delay Schedule  
Delayed openings mean all schedules will be delayed by either one or two hours. Bus pickups will be approximately one or two hours later than the scheduled time. Schools will adhere to a 1-hour or 2-hour delay based on the following Transportation Schedule. The delay schedule can be found here: https://www.shenet.org/about-us/school-schedules/. Please continue to monitor all opening delays, as they could turn into school closings, depending on the weather. AM Kindergarten does not come to school when there is a delay. There is no AM BOCES. Food Service will keep the same schedule for a 1-hour and 2-hour delay and continue to serve breakfast and lunch. Parents using Y-Time for childcare should discuss their procedures in the event of a delay.

School Closing 
School closings will follow the typical process. Parents using Y-Time for childcare should discuss their procedures in the event of a cancellation of after-school/evening activities. Please see the district website, social media, SIS email notification or your local television station for information. Families can now choose to receive emergency notifications by text. Go to this post for more information.

Early dismissal

When the weather becomes severely inclement during the day and driving conditions become unsafe, or when a state of emergency due to road conditions is declared by the state or county law enforcement, the district may consider early dismissal. Early dismissal decisions take into consideration the magnitude of the transportation operations and the number of buses required to transport students home and, in many instances, the possibility that young students may be going home to an empty house. Typically, the decision is made by mid-morning for an early afternoon dismissal. When an early dismissal is being considered, typically PM kindergarten will be cancelled. Stay tuned to news about early dismissals through the methods discussed above.

No After School and Evening Activities

The decision to cancel after-school and evening activities is typically made by noon and publicized using the methods described above. When Shen doesn’t cancel after-school or evening activities, it DOES NOT prohibit or prevent an event organizer from canceling or rescheduling the event due to weather or road conditions.

Please note: Parents using Y-Time for childcare should discuss their procedures in the event of an early dismissal or cancellation of after-school/evening activities.