SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – With unpredictable weather in Central New York, schools often scramble to decide if classes would be canceled. That happened early this morning after Syracuse had a surprise snowstorm last night. It’s not an easy decision. School administrators are constantly watching the forecast. When snow is expected, administrators start planning for the storm almost a week ahead of time.
Todd Henry works in the transportation department at the East Syracuse Minoa Elementary School. He said that the school needs a decision by 5 a.m. on cancellations or delays. People like having notice, he said, which is why schools try to send out their decision before families wake up. As a result, he said the school administrator, Dr. Donna J. DeSiato, calls him long before the sun rises.
“Dr. DeSiato will call me at 4:50 when there’s weather in the area and whether I’m off driving the roads or checking them or based off the forecast, we converse,” Henry said.
From tracking weather forecasts to checking the roads, realistically Henry said he does not sleep anytime it snows. He also said he talks to workers at other schools in the area.
This past Monday, Central New York got dumped on with surprise snow; some areas had over seven inches. Dawn Wood, a parent and also a superintendent in the West Genesee school district, said she was notified by text of a snow delay before 5:30 a.m. on Monday.
“At 5:18 the notification went out that there was a 2-hour delay and then at 7:28 school is canceled,” Wood said.
In the event of snow, school districts would much rather delay class rather than cancel, said Wood. Cancellation is always a last resort.