Winter weather watch: Schools already low on snow days


By Patsy Nicosia

Winter started Saturday.
Three days before that?
When it was still fall?
Middleburgh Central School was already worrying about the elephant in the room:
Snow days.
After MCS’s fourth snow day last Tuesday, Superintendent Brian Dunn told his school board Wednesday that they have just one of the five they’ve budgeted left.
Once they’re gone, they’ll have to look at taking a day “back,” possibly the Friday before Memorial Day, he said.
The prospect concerned school board member Becky Binder, who wants to make sure everyone’s aware of the possibility--maybe even the likelihood of that—before they start making break or vacation plans.
Still, schools might have one day of “wiggle room,” Mr. Dunn said.
During the December 2 storm, Schoharie County declared a State of Emergency from 11:30am till 6:30am the next day, time that included half of a school day.
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, in that kind of scenario, schools might be able to get a day back.
Otherwise, in order to meet their required 180 days of classroom instruction, they’ll have to start deducting from their breaks.
Cobleskill-Richmondville, Schoharie and Sharon Springs, who also budgeted for five snow days, are all down to two.
“It’s awfully uncomfortable having two snow days left with January, February, and March ahead of us,” SSCS Business Administrator Tony DiPace said.
“We are looking at it very closely. If the weather patterns continue as is, I don’t see how anyone will be able to get their minimum number of days in session without looking at February or April breaks.”
Deciding to call a snow day isn’t a decision he makes in a silo, Mr. Dunn sad.
As early as 4:30am he’s talking with MCS’s Transportation Supervisor Rock Loiselle, who in turn, is talking with the DPW and local highway superintendents.
Mr. Dunn said there’s also a school superintendents’ text group.
Schools are off until January 6 for Christmas break.