Monday, November 21, 2016

Getting Ready for Turkey Day!

Weather Dependent: I hope all of you enjoyed the warm weather at the beginning of the weekend. Now that it appears that more typical Syracuse weather has returned, please be sure to pay attention to my Twitter feed, our Facebook Page, website, Blackboard Communications email/text/push notification and local media for any delays or closings. Since we have had some weather that involved closing our schools for today, you should have seen this process in motion.

Back in the days before cellphones, I used to have to get in the car, drive the roads, and then make a decision.With school districts being large, it was possible to drive on good roads and open school, only to find out that roads on the other side of town were a mess. I would get to my office, the phones would start ringing, and my day would go right down the drain.

Thanks to cellphones and social media, the process now involves many more people and probably has made our decisions to delay or close a little easier; although as Mother Nature is Mother Nature, every now and then the wrong decision is made.

I begin by having a phone or text conference with road crews, my assistant superintendent, our own plow crew, and the local police. The road crews can give me a good idea of how the outer roads are, the police can keep me up-to-date on accidents, and my assistant and local plow crew can tell me how the snow or ice situation is on our properties.

From there I contact some of our local weather people, who have been great at getting right back to me. They let me know how quickly the weather is moving, where it might go, and what the temperatures will be over our potential school bus commute; in other words, I get my own weather report.

Then I have to rely on experience and my gut feelings, and I then make the "official call" to delay or close. I try to make this call as early as I can. Later calls come on days where the weather is truly temperature dependent. I never worry about our school buses. They are large, heavy, inspected, and driven by experienced people.

I worry about student drivers, their parents, and other traffic on the road. If I open school, it means that I would put my own children in a car on the roads or on one of our buses. Every now and then parents disagree when we open, and I always tell them that as parents, they have a right to keep their children home if they do not feel the roads are safe. Sounds like fun right?

Great Events: The West Genesee Middle School put on a spectacular production of Annie Jr. last Thursday and throughout the weekend. The actors and actresses were very strong. Between those performances and the earlier performance at Camillus Middle School, our high school productions are going to continue to be strong well into the future!

Our winter sports and holiday concert schedules are in full swing. If you get a chance, please get to a basketball game in our newly renovated gym at the high school. The bleachers are safer and easier to climb up into and sit in, the floor has been updated, and rumor has it that the very successful pep band from last year will be returning. Good stuff!

From my family to yours I would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!