Weather and School Closings

Q.  The winter has certainly started early.  Can you please explain what goes into your decision making process in the morning when you must close school or delay the opening.

A. I agree, it has certainly been a busy season so far.  Each weather situation has its challenges.  Our first consideration when making these decisions is the safety of students and staff.  When there is a weather event (black ice, snow, mixed precipitation) the morning usually progresses as follows:

  • 4:00am - Wake up and and start brewing the coffee.
  • 4:00am-4:30am - Review TV, online, and specialized weathers reports developed exclusively for Somers.  I also watch doppler radar to see weather patterns in the region.  During this time, extensive texting begins (and continues throughout the process) with other area Superintendents.
  • 4:30am - Have conference call with Somers Department of Public Works (DPW) to determine road conditions now and later in the morning.  My number one question I ask multiple times is "will the roads be safe for busses and students to drive on?"
  • 4:45am - Have a conference call with meteorologist.  Somers subscribes to a weather service in which a meteorologist provides frequent updates and facilitates a conference call with Somers and other area Superintendents. 
  • 4:55am - Another call to DPW to get a final report on road conditions.
  • 5:00am-5:15am - Make final decision.  If there is a closing or delay, I call Somers Administrators who then make contact with the radio and TV stations, bus company, DPW, maintenance and custodial crews, and update online notifications.