Seeing the first snowflakes of the season over Thanksgiving break reminded us to remind our Watervliet families about how we will communicate school closings, delays, or a shift to a remote teaching and learning day if weather conditions or a spike in positive COVID cases make it necessary.
Technology offers us greater flexibility when making decisions about whether or not to cancel school. This does not mean the end of snow days; however, depending on the situation, we do have the option to conduct classes remotely when needed.
How will families and staff be notified?
Any changes to a school day and/or how students will receive instruction will be communicated through One Call Now, the district’s mass notification system. Parents and guardians registered in our e-School database will receive a robocall, text message, and/or email to the contact information that we have on file. The message will be posted to the school district’s website and shared through local media outlets as well.
While we will do our best to notify you of these changes with as much advance notice as possible, please make every effort to keep your child’s school informed of any changes to your contact information so that you continue to receive these important updates. Contact the district registrar at 518-629-3204 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When is the decision made and what factors do we consider?
Morning closings may be announced as early as 5:30 a.m., but usually no later than 6 a.m. A reminder that whenever schools are closed for weather conditions all before- and after-school activities are canceled also.
The following factors are considered when making the decision:
- Local forecast as reported by the National Weather Service.
- Road conditions reported by state, county and local departments of transportation.
- Feedback from the Watervliet Police Department about traffic and road conditions.
- Capacity of maintenance staff to clear snow from school parking lots and sidewalks in a safe and timely manner.
It is best to rely on more than one source of information when it comes to weather-related announcements. This is especially true in situations that involve power outages, which can affect the district’s ability to send electronic notifications.
What about delayed openings?
When a delayed opening is announced, it means all schedules will be delayed by two hours. Bus pickups will be approximately two hours later than the scheduled time. However, please continue to monitor all opening delays, as they could turn into school closings depending on the weather. Please note: Breakfast will not be served on days that we have a delay and unless otherwise indicated, and morning BOCES classes will be canceled.
For safety reasons, no changes to your children’s designated drop-off or pick-up location can be accommodated. In the event of a school closing or delay, please make sure prior arrangements are made so that someone is available to stay with your child.
On remote instruction days, UPK-12 students will access their Google Classroom for their instruction. View information for accessing Google Classroom or visit How do I sign in to Classroom? for instructions. If your child needs a device for home on remote learning days that have been planned, please contact the main office of your child(ren)’s school to make arrangements to pick up your child’s school device.
On remote learning days, grades 6-12 students will follow their regular schedule. Students should check their school email or Google Classroom for teacher links to instruction.
Students who log on for live virtual sessions or complete asynchronous work posted on Google Classroom are marked present for the day.
If our schools are closed due to weather conditions, meals will not be available that day.
On planned remote learning days meals will be available for students and families to pick up from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Watervliet Elementary School and the Watervliet Civic Center.
Please remember, neighboring districts have differing needs and challenges and may decide to make a different decision regarding school closings, delays, and remote learning days. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child(ren)’s building principal.
(This information was emailed to families through One Call Now on Thursday, Dec. 2).