Mar 10, 2014
Snow Day Decisions
By DREW COHEN
The weather this winter has so far resulted in five school day cancellations. According to Mr. Henry Grishman, the superintendent of Jericho Schools, the district has a maximum of six days that can be used if there is weather that makes transportation to school an issue.
If there is a winter storm heading in the district’s direction, Mr. Grishman and his staff have a busy schedule ahead of them. There are numerous steps and precautions that Mr. Grishman has to take. According to Mr. Grishman, Mrs. Savino, the head of transportation, would have to come to school the day of a storm at 3:00am. The first thing Mrs. Savino does is contact First Student, the district’s bus company, and ask about the current conditions of the roads. Mrs. Savino would also contact other school districts and ask them how the roads are around their schools. In addition, other buildings and grounds staff will be at the schools as well.
This group then surveys the district area and determines if it is safe for students and staff to travel to school. They also determine if the storm is going to get worse or decrease in severity by the time school begins. “I will usually be in touch with other superintendents at around four in the morning,” Mr. Grishman said. “Then, at five in the morning, there is a conference call where about ten superintendents get together and talk about the storm. Thankfully, we have a 186 day calendar, and most schools have a 182 day calendar, so we have six days we can take off if needed. Thankfully, this year, we have had five days off.”
With so many snow days this winter, it has been a challenge to let students and staff know about a school closings. The Jericho School District adapted a robocall system. According to Mr. Grishman, the new robocalls automatically call the homes of each student to update them on a cancellation or delay, and they have been very successful thus far.
Most members of the Jericho community hope that the Jericho School District stays within its six day limit. Otherwise, the Memorial Day weekend holiday will be impacted.