Streams

Cold Calculations: How NYC Schools Declare a Snow Day

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 04:00 AM

A snow plow driving through Central Park during an afternoon snowfall. (Natalie Fertig/WNYC)

There's no specific formula, no numbered checklist and no hard and fast rules. But the decision to close or open schools after -- or during -- a storm is not arbitrary either.

“This is a call that is made based on the best information we can assemble and based on our experience in these matters," said Kathleen Grimm, deputy chancellor for operations at the New York City Department of Education. "Every storm is different so every response is different.”

The mayor and schools chancellor defended the decision to keep schools open on Wednesday. According to preliminary D.O.E. data, student attendance was just under 64 percent, much lower than usual. (The D.O.E. does not release same-day teacher attendance data.)

Each winter storm and the decision to call a snow day brings a coordinated effort between city agencies. D.O.E. officials said there are late-night and early-morning conference calls between the mayor and schools chancellor, along with the Department of Sanitation, the Office of Emergency Management and the Police Department to determine the impact of a storm.

And, this being New York, there are always complaints, no matter the final decision. They should have told us sooner. They should have closed the schools, or kept them open. What WNYC found, though, is the largest school district has largely the same process as the smaller urban and suburban school districts in the area -- even if the end results are different.

While New York schools have closed once this calendar year, most of the neighboring districts have called four snow days so far.

The key factors that could make or break a snow day include accumulation, temperature and windchill, though there are no specific thresholds for each. It just depends on their combination, in conjunction with the timing of a storm and whether city officials are confident that mass transit and the city's 7,700 school buses can run.

Education officials said they try to make the call to close schools as early as possible, before 6 a.m., even though many families and school staff would prefer notice the night before.

Officials at the School District of Philadelphia said they're watching the weather forecast two to three days out before a potential snow day. The district’s chief of communications, Fernando Gallard, said they have conference calls, and look at the progress of snow removal, too.

In Summit, N.J., Schools Superintendent Nathan Parker said Wednesday, Feb. 5, was a “moving target,” as of the night before. 

"It's not a set of things that we look at, but we look at the safety for our staff and students," he said.  

Pleasantville Union Free School District is a small district in Westchester County with a streamlined process that suits its size. 

“Starting at 4:45 a.m., I’m looking at NOAA satellite feeds,” says District Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter. “By 5:25 a.m., we make a decision.”

One tool that neighboring districts have in their back pocket is the delayed opening -- a tool that, according to the D.O.E., is not a viable option for New York City.

Education officials said an all-or-nothing approach is better for a system of this scale, since a delay would still require opening schools and staffing them early for those families that didn't get the message. 

This year's school calendar for New York City public schools has three extra days built into it, meaning officials have two more at their disposal.

 

Shomial Ahmad contributed reporting.

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Comments [42]

Joe Weaver from Bayside, Queens

In Bayside, Queens, I walked my daughter to school. We live 10 blocks from the school and my daughter wanted to go out an play in the snow before going to school. I also picked her up and we walked home as well. There were about 5 other fathers doing the same. Oddly enough there were some mothers, who lived about 5 blocks away and didn't shovel their driveway and kept their kids home. I can't understand this. In Queens it wasn't that bad, but I heard it was worse in the Bronx, so parents must be parents and make the decision to keep their kids home or not. If you are a single parent and work far from work, then you risk not being able to make it home to pick up your kids, so have a backup or keep them home, but what if the parent is a doctor and his or her patients in the hospital need their doctor. Why should the mayor close all schools, because one district had gotten more snowfall. Many of the parents in our districts are doctors, nurses, surgeons and are needed to go to work when it is snowing to save lives, so having their children stay home with a baby sitter, just didn't make sense. I also don't want my daughter to fear snow. But instead, enjoy it, love it and be safe. Teacher should be treated just as the other professionals, such as the police, firemen and the health professionals, who have a job , even when the weather is rough. I don't believe closing school across the board is the answer. There must be a better way. Let the districts decide.

Feb. 14 2014 01:42 PM
CP from New York

Leaving school open today was just an insane decision. I am an educator and the 64% seems inflated. My school certainly did not have 64% more like 33%. There were 4 teachers supervising 13 11th grade students all day. Needless to say that not much was accomplished. Students did work but it was more self-paced practice.

The commute to work was extremely difficult wether by foot, public transit, or car. But what is even more maddening is the "excuses" and comments by the mayor and Chancellor. They are actually insulting. Al Roker said what everybody was thinking. Comparing schools to Macy's and actually saying that it was a beautiful day were completely misplaced and will haunt them in the future.

Ironically a board meeting the mayor was supposed to attend later in the evening was cancelled due to inclement weather. And it was in his home borough. I hope the Governor has the power and conviction to open up an investigation as to why schools stayed open similar to what he did when the utility companies failed to act after Sandy.

Feb. 13 2014 10:20 PM
John from Bronx

"And, this being New York, there are always complaints, no matter the final decision."

C'mon, guys, this sort of defence would not have been permitted while Bloomberg was mayor. And if it would not have been tolerated then, it should not be tolerated now.

Feb. 13 2014 12:39 PM
Michelle from Astoria

The mayor keeping school open despite all the warnings given prior to the storm, despite the accumulation of ice on sidewalks and streets (that the Sanitation Department and the MTA has not been able to address), despite the salt shortage in the region, despite states of emergency, is truly unfathomable. Farinia describing today as "beautiful"must be symptomatic of dementia. In what universe is she living in? How does Di Blasio think this press conference and the tone of it is helpful to his administration? Di Blasio's press conference and his administration dodging these issues is worthy of a Daily Show opening monologue. It deserves parody. And I am a democrat.

Feb. 13 2014 12:09 PM
AnnaB from Manhattan

There is school today! Crazy! One of the things that I would like to hear in a follow up report is the differences in TEACHER attendance amongst the boroughs. I taught in the Bronx for five years, and I most of my colleagues lived upstate. They would often call out during days like today because it was really unsafe for them to drive into New York City. I would venture to say that many schools in the outer boroughs see similar patterns. I have never heard the statistics on teacher attendance. I have never heard the statistics on teacher attendance comparing Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, to the Manhattan.I think this matters because if your teacher isn't there, your teacher isn't there.

Feb. 13 2014 10:28 AM

I would like the DoE to look at the percentage of students who travel to school, then analyze the distance. It took my child over an hour to go 50 blocks on the Select Bus to school, a trip that usually takes 20-25 minutes in the morning. Coming home will be much worse.

Feb. 13 2014 10:02 AM
Jerry Zaks from NYC

If the DeBlasio/Farina decision to open the schools today reflects his administration's judgement, then we are in deep trouble.

Feb. 13 2014 08:12 AM
HB from Brooklyn

Extra days are built into the school year for a reason. There should be a "use them or lose them" policy. If snow days are not used for their intended purpose, the school year should end that many days earlier. I also would like to see what the attendance data is disaggregated. How many of the 50% who show up on days like today are really going to school for a hot lunch? How many of the students who show up are in the 5th or 8th grade and don't want to give up days because they are trying to get into a middle or high school of their choice?

Feb. 13 2014 07:49 AM
Juljo from BKLYN

If you are a parent to a fifth grader picking out middle schools, there is no luxury to stay home on a snow day when public schools are open. Attendance counts so heavily into the decision, that parental guidance feels like a moot point.

Also, if schools are open and conditions are not worsening, then after-school programs should not be cancelled. Even when schools remain open and businesses follow this to mean employees show up, it is a whole new level of job insecurity to have to leave at 2 PM to get to school for pickup. A little consistency is always a good idea.

Feb. 08 2014 10:23 AM
DR from Queens

The message from the Mayor and the Chancellor is at the very least contradictory. The advise is to stay off the roads with the exception of essential personnel; how does that translate into student? and employees? Are they "essential"? The fact that all students have to travel to get to school whether on foot, bus, train or car is the issue. The roads were not safe in the morning, period. I also find it interesting that with all the conversation surrounding common core, testing, teacher evaluations etc. that the school also notes that it is a priority of the schools to provide a meal to the students! You can't have everything. If the Mayor is as honest and for the people as he purports, then maybe he should at least be truthful and drop the stay home and safety talk from the DOE website (and from his news conferences and comments)

Feb. 06 2014 11:22 AM
dalilou

A lot of people are talking about the risk of traveling from outside NYC. How about walking down the street? The sidewalk conditions were DEPLORABLE and much works than the road. Leaving my home with my toddler, who I transport by stroller to his daycare, was a disaster, and it was unsafe because I almost got hit by a car as I was trying to maneuver over a snow/slush bank. Everyone around me was slipping and sliding. Then I got on the 3 train and there was a huge delay. All for classes with 5-6 kids in it- so no, I didn't teach anything new. There should have been at least a delay so that more of the sidewalks could have been cleared, which most were when I left school later that day.

Feb. 06 2014 06:42 AM
Kp from Bronx

Closing schools should be about everybody's safety. Granted we need not take special account for those people who live outside the city. I live literally 10 minutes from my school. I was frightened. I couldn't help but think that it had to be so much more dangerous for children in busses. Schools are for learning. Yes we are loving, kind, and caring, but we are NOT the primary caregivers. It disturbs me that there are apparently so many children who have parents who aren't using their EBT cards to buy enough food for one extra day without free school lunch. If this is the case- NYC has much greater problems than education. Children in that kind of situation won't be doing much learning. It is so unwise to put EVERYONE's well being at risk for some imagined situation. If NYC declares a state of emergency how on the world can you claim it us safe?!?! Well, maybe the mayor's block and his son's school was sufficiently cleared....

Feb. 05 2014 09:24 PM
Shellie from Upper East Side

I'm a teacher at a school that follows the NYC public schools' directives. We had school. I am fortunate to live very close to where I work, but isn't the case for many of my students and colleagues. Some chose not to come to school, and I completely understand parents' putting their children first. On a day when NYers are instructed, nay urged and beseeched to be careful, as many other commenters have noted, those NYers do not include students or their teachers.

Feb. 05 2014 06:41 PM
Brooklyn teacher from Brooklyn

Anyone who thinks that students got an education today is out of their mind. When half of their teachers are substitutes and half your class is missing there is no way I'm teaching my scheduled new lesson only to have to reteach it tomorrow for the kids whose parents were smart enough to keep them home.

Feb. 05 2014 06:14 PM
Jason from NYC

It was absolutely brutal coming to school today but I had to for two reasons, one being that my parents are very "traditional" and believe that you should essentially worship every day of education you're supposed to get like food or water, and the second being that it is extremely hard at least for me, to make up a day of missed lessons. My walk to my bus stop was met with ice and hail hitting me, which felt like small blades cutting against my face, followed by freezing rain, and mountains of snow was piled up even on the roads because they haven't been cleared the roads yet. When I got to the bus stop, my school bus was 20 minutes late probably due to the uncleared roads and horrendous conditions which at this point. Usually, I get to school 20 minutes early so I wasn't worrying until I noticed that it was taking the bus two minutes to move up one hill because there was so much snow and ice. In fact, it got so bad that some drivers actually pulled over and started shoveling some parts of the road. Apparently the chancellor of education doesn't know that tens of thousands of kids live at least over 10 miles away from their schools and rely on driving on these incredibly dangerous roads and using the heavily delayed public transportation system. I hope that she went to work today and didn't stay in because of weather related issues. And the NYCDOE says they put children and their safety first...

Feb. 05 2014 05:41 PM
Brittany Bell from Queens

I just wanted to respond to the comment about electing to move 35 miles from school. For the record, teaching jobs are very hard to come by. Hundreds of people apply for positions in Long Island and Queens. Yet, 60% of all new hires in the NYC DOE are for schools in The Bronx and Brooklyn. There is a reason for that. Title I schools in low income areas have the most difficult working conditions and the highest turnover rates. In this economy, people take jobs where they can get them. Still, others such as myself actually want to commit to working with the neediest students. Does that mean we have to commit to moving away from our families and own neighborhoods to do so? Does that mean we need to further jeopardize our safety by moving to a crime ridden neighborhood? If teachers didn't commute from Queens, Long Island, and Upstate my school would have about three staff members! And to the comment about living in a broom closet...my little co-op pretty much is one, but shouldn't I be able to feel safe going home to the location of my broom closet?

To the comment that we can recover during our vacation...yes, I chose a career that has excellent benefits and ample vacation time. I love my job and wouldn't trade it for the world. If you are so unhappy and bitter, why don't you change careers?

Feb. 05 2014 05:38 PM
Incredulous from Manhattan

With all due respect, if you elect to move 35 miles away from the city you can hardly demand the schools shut down to suit the safety of your commute. The private sector is no different -- move far from the city, risk the difficult commute while others walk or hop on a bus or subway for a few stops. You get to live in a lovely house while we live in a broom closet, but those are the trade-offs.

Feb. 05 2014 05:08 PM
Bev from Brooklyn

Hey Jerry - you are right, teachers have it so good. Any chance you'll sign on for next September?

Feb. 05 2014 04:02 PM
Rob Redhill from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

DiBlasio ran on a policy of a "Tale of Two Cities". Manhattan is very easily traversed during times like these with a MASS of mass transit that limits walking, and makes driving unnecessary. The other four boroughs are not so lucky. Staten Island, in particular, but also much of Brooklyn and Queens, are DISASTERS even with the best cleanups. What made today worse was the fact that on top of these conditions, kids who walked, were driven or were bussed today were doing so with an army of trucks and plows on the street. School is important, but safety is more important. Today's storm, in particular, would have been ideal for a delayed opening. Allow the streets to be cleared easily, get kids in once temps rise a bit. Any parent who isn't informed about something like a delayed opening on a day like today, with all the communication coming from schools via school web sites, automated calls, 311 and simply being an informed citizen is ridiculous and should be brought up on charges of neglect. But here in NYC, we cater to the idiots, so what else could you expect?

Feb. 05 2014 03:52 PM
Roz from NJ

As a former teacher for NYC, retired since 2002, I remember waking up at 5 AM and looking out the window, wondering if I should take the chance of getting into a car accident to get to my school in a snow storm. I lived 35 miles from my school and somehow managed to take very few "snow days" for myself. Is felt compelled to be there for my students, my principal and the other staff members who made their way to work. I never stopped resenting an employer (the NYCDOE)who cared little for the employee's safety. What was worse was the fact that out of a school population of over 900 students only between 50-100 attended. Today's storm was characterized as being treacherous to travel in. Even a delayed opening would not have solved the problem of slippery roads and sidewalks. Schools should have been closed!

Feb. 05 2014 02:08 PM

My child is a special ed student. The majority of special ed students are bussed to school. There are already numerous problems with that system, not the least of which is the amount of time spent on the bus. My child has a classmate in Howard Beach who gets on the bus at 5:30 am each day and every day, exceeds the travel limit that was set on his IEP. The DOE and OPT can't manage to adhere to time limits under the best of circumstances and today, nearly every bus was late arriving to the school. The roads were covered in ice this morning. Our school starts at 7:30 and it had just changed over to ice. They should at the very least have delayed the schools, rather than compromise the safety of the city's most vulnerable students.

Feb. 05 2014 01:37 PM
Jerry Mascuch from Brooklyn

LM,
Congratulations and thank you for making the sacrifice of getting yourself to your job this morning. It's a mess outside, but I and all the people I work with made it to work. My children also got to school via mass transit or car. You'll have time to recover from today's trauma during your "winter break" the week after next and your "spring break" in April and then during your two month summer vacation.

Feb. 05 2014 12:45 PM
Beth from Brooklyn

The bottom line is that we use the schools as babysitters and social work to protect kids from their parents and they don't care about safety.

Feb. 05 2014 12:37 PM
hipknitta

I am a NYC teacher who lives about 35 miles north of my school. When I get a NYC alert the night before a storm asking that people stay off the roads because it is very hazardous, I always add the line "except NYC teachers". It's becoming a running joke that teachers are expected to go above and beyond the call of duty and risk our lives getting to work. Yes, I made the decision to move out of the city but I did not sign up to be NYC's babysitter. I understand that the schools are a source of food, warmth, and comfort for many impoverished students but at what cost? A car accident? Spending 2 hours on the icy road only to get marked late by my administration? How many students would have been in school? 5? 6? Look, I love my job. It does disturb me that I can't be there but I hope the public understands that my life comes first. I have a family, too. Many times my children's schools were closed and I had to scramble to get someone to watch them.

Al Roker made the best comment this morning which I will paraphrase: All schools in the Northeast are closed except NYC which is INEXCUSABLE.

Feb. 05 2014 12:25 PM
LM

As a teacher of NYC Public Schools, I was floored that we didn't AT LEAST have a two hour delay. "We care about the well-being of the children" Please. It isn't about having the day off…it's about staying safe. I live 50 minutes out of the city in Westchester, as do many other teachers. I can't take public transportation, as I do not live anywhere near it. I slammed into the curb, due to a sheet of ice…thank god I was going slow... So I'm supposed to risk my life and my family, when the mayor/DOE can't call in a measly snow day, that we, IN FACT have, for this very reason. It was a poor decision, and we aren't your kids babysitters, that have no life either. To all the parents that think it was a "good idea" to keep school in session…give me a break and figure it out if you have to make arrangements for your children on a snow day. I had to make arrangements for my children, because they were off from school…and I had still came to my job.

Feb. 05 2014 12:02 PM
Donna

Children first goes hand in hand with safety first. They seem to forget this when children and teachers are required to head out in severe weather conditions to report to school. "Everyone stay indoors and don't drive, but children and teachers get out there and go to school!"

Feb. 05 2014 11:54 AM

Comparing New York City's closures to the surrounding area's is to some extent like comparing apples and oranges. The built-up parts of the city have a different climate, thanks to the urban heat island effect. The city has a massive public transportation network and sanitation department; only about 15% of its students use yellow school bus service. The surrounding areas are far more reliant on yellow buses and cars to get kids to school, they have little to no public transportation, and they don't have the same snow-clearing capabilities.

School is an important source of childcare, food, and even shelter for kids living in vulnerable and impoverished families (another thing the city has in far greater numbers than most surrounding towns). These are the people to keep in mind when weighing school closings, not teachers who live a great distance from their job and who don't want to burn a personal day.

Feb. 05 2014 11:50 AM
Roberta from Brooklyn

This is certainly not the first slushy weekday New York City has ever endured. Yes, it's disgusting outside, but if schools closed every time the weather was unpleasant, there wouldn't be enough days to fulfill the state mandate, and for children to learn the curriculum. I say this as a public school parent who drove my kid to Brooklyn Tech this morning. The usual hundreds of kids were on their way up the block from the subway, as usual. Of course my kid and her friends were texting and messaging all afternoon yesterday, trying to predict the odds for a snow day. But it wasn't in the cards this morning with the weather and street and transit conditions.

Feb. 05 2014 11:41 AM
Uptowner from Inwood

Give me a break. It would have been a disaster for parents had schools closed, as then they would have had to stay home from work, and all workplaces are open. Guess what - New York is a northern city, it snows, and unless we have a blizzard there is no reason to close the schools. I was grateful for the wise judgement the DOE showed in realizing that this latest snowstorm was, in the end, just a slushy mess. You put on your boots and you deal with it.

Part of the problem is that many kids in NYC no longer attend zoned schools. When everyone is getting on buses or being driven all over the city it makes it much harder to deal with winter weather. But that's not a reason to close the whole system.

"Children First" means keep them learning. They are not interstate truck drivers. Good call, DOE.

Feb. 05 2014 11:34 AM
Denise from Queens

had 8 students in homeroom. HAHAHAHAHA!! Left Long Island at 6 am with two babies to drop off in day care just to come to work. My actions will be different Monday morning or the next day one snowflake falls.

Feb. 05 2014 10:57 AM
Beth from New York

Are you KIDDING me? There's a state of emergency in all five boroughs, non essential government employees are sent home, but you expect teachers and students to brave these conditions, which every single meteorologist and traffic reporter are calling dangerous and treacherous? Do you realize how many teachers live outside the 5 boroughs? Do you realize how many students take public transportation by themselves or with younger siblings? Do you realize how many students walk with younger siblings or parents with toddlers/babies bring students to school? The DOE is stuck in the days when teachers all lived in the city. I saw posts from both students and coworkers who were terrified on city transport or waiting for transport that never even came. A friend who lives in Manhattan wrote about kids falling all over the place as her car fishtailed and she tried to control it. You don't send kids and staff out in these conditions when there's no need to be there. You can take it off spring break if you're worried about the number of days. But not only are you sending people out in unsafe conditions, you're forcing teachers to choose between personal safety and worried of no sick days left when they or their family members could actually be sick. You're forcing kids to take absent days when no one should have to. I have been teaching for almost 18 years and love my job, but I shouldn't have to risk my life in unsafe conditions to get there. And neither should any other school staff member and not any kids, either.

Feb. 05 2014 10:41 AM
Allison from NY, NY

We were almost hit by 2 cars and witnessed a school bus skidding and nearly hitting the curb. This was a horrible call today, especially given that they made a decision prior to seeing what weather would actually materialize. The DOE showed a deplorable lack of regard for the safety of students and teachers today. You can't tell people to avoid unnecessary travel while keeping schools open and forcing people to travel. Hopefully we will not see any injuries, or worse, fatalities as a result of this today.

Feb. 05 2014 10:13 AM
Jared

Tough, let parents be parents. It is inexcusable that the DOE can't have 2 hour delays. Parents need. To be accountable in their children's education. Across the entire country parents have to make contingency plans for emergency school situations. Why is their never accountability for those parents of DOE students. As a teacher in the DOE it is disgusting how under appreaciated we are by the DOE. If a plant sends a child to school for a two hour delay due to ignorance and not turning on a TV, radio or calling 311 then the parent should have to deal with the ramifications.

Feb. 05 2014 10:09 AM
Gordon from Brooklyn

It was shocking to me that the public school was on today. I witnessed 2 people falling and a car skidding through an intersection walking my daughter to school. Conditions were simply unsafe! For a school system claiming safety as their priority has a funny way of showing it.

Feb. 05 2014 10:08 AM
RH from Suburbia

The staff getting to school is a major issue in the suburbs, not just for public schools but for colleges as well. I live in a walking distrct, and technically every able-bodied kid could walk to school, but having enough staff to make the day productive is the concern.

As for teachers who live in the suburbs but work in NYC, even if they normally drive, many have a backup plan to take mass transit. If you are a teacher in NYC and do not live near mass transit, that's very unwise.

Another point made, that "everybody goes to work", is not true for most professionals. Our local streets are empty except for plows, save one guy going 10 mph on a 50 mph road near our house. Those with service jobs likely have less choice, but in our area, most with service jobs travel very short distances.

I agree 100% that there are many single-parent and two working parent families in NYC, and that should factor into the decision. We do not want kids to have to stay home alone while their parents must work (assuming many non-professionals in the city vs. the suburbs).

Feb. 05 2014 09:06 AM
Jonas from Brooklyn

What is particularly confusing is how NYC Public Schools reported this between 1am and 2am before precipitation started getting heavy and before ice started to form all over the roads. How on Earth could they have possibly determined that roads would be safe to travel on a good 5-6 hours prior to most people traveling?!?!?!

Feb. 05 2014 09:03 AM
peggym2 from Queens

As a parent of a student in one of the NYC boroughs, I am having a lot of difficulty understanding today's decision to keep NYC Public Schools open. I respect the Mayor and am delighted that for the first time in at least 12 years we have an Educator at the helm of education! Today's decision is baffling. As a previous writer stated, the Governor says no unessential travel today. The Mayor, only use mass transit. Well, at my daughter's school, many parents drive and were on these slushy, icy roads today. Honestly, we live close enough to school where we could literally roll there if we had to. My real concern is for our teachers, many of whom live great distances from school. I know many of the teachers did make it to school today and as result it will probably not be the most productive a day. Why should we put their lives in peril when we can shorten Spring break or lengthen the school year by a day or two? It's not to satisfy the parents because of work. Our after school programs often close when the weather is treacherous. Not to harp on this, but, if we truly believe in people and children are our priority, let's consider everyone's safety and care!

Feb. 05 2014 08:25 AM
Soulsonic from Brooklyn

Historically whether or not schools are opened has been decided by and large on whether or not NYC public transportation system was running on or close to schedule. When it is not, THIS is when they close the schools. Many school teachers and administrators forget that not only do this city's children go to school for their education but additionally the city's schools are a safe place for their children to be until an afternoon caretaker or guardian can collect them.

Feb. 05 2014 08:24 AM
JD from LI, NYC

My wife who works on Long Island was told the night before that her office would be closed. Only adults where she works. Her colleague lives in the city with children. He has a snow day...his kids, not so much. Having traveled this morning, the sidewalks in Manhattan were very slippery, every corner had three inches of water and slush. If any of my students have dry feet I will be shocked.

Feb. 05 2014 08:13 AM
school administrator from westchester

the comment above about traveling teachers forgets that this decision has NEVER been about staff nor should it be...if you worked in any other industry you'd be going to work today and every day...this is about safe transport of kids...that's it. There is also the worry about kids without home supervision and hardship of parents working in fringe situations if there is a snow day. We educators forget that this is not about us!...but a snow day sure is lovely.

Feb. 05 2014 07:51 AM
EM from NY

"Education officials said an all-or-nothing approach is better for a system of this scale, since a delay would still require opening schools and staffing them early for those families that didn't get the message. "

So teachers should travel in unsafe conditions before the city has had adequate time to make the roads safe because some families could not be bothered to turn on the news?

Feb. 05 2014 07:25 AM
Jamie Anisfield from NYC

The NYC DOE motto: Children First. Always. Then why has the Chancellor and the Mayor decided to keep NYC schools open today, Wed Jan 5th?? All warnings across the area state'treacherous conditions', 'stay indoors', 'do not travel', etc.

It's slippery, icy, and dangerous to be outdoors this morning.

The chancellor and mayor clearly have more concern for their open school day record than the safety of our children.

Are other NYC school parents concerned?

Feb. 05 2014 06:57 AM

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