Letter from the Superintendent Regarding Snow Delays and Closures
Dear Hendrick Hudson Families,
This morning’s icy road conditions created havoc for many, as weather conditions seemed to change by the minute. The decision to ultimately close school was due to dangerous road conditions throughout our area impacting both district transportation and commutes for our staff. I’d like to take this opportunity to share our processes regarding weather-related school delays and closures.
First and foremost, our responsibility as a district is to get all of our students to and from school safely, and our decisions are based entirely on your children’s well being.
Our primary considerations when faced with a winter weather event are the status of our area roadways and the condition of our buildings’ parking lots and walkways. Any decision to delay or close school is only made after careful review of multiple private weather forecasts, specifically tailored for our area, and information gathered from our local and regional highway departments.
On days when potentially hazardous weather is either predicted or already taking place outside, the district’s transportation and facilities directors are in contact with me by 4 am. I also confer with more than 20 local school district leaders via conference call to share up-to-the-minute information regarding roadways and local forecasts.
What was especially difficult for decision-makers this morning was that weather conditions on the ground worsened much faster than forecasts had predicted. Therefore, we made the decision to close, albeit later than we like, and believe it was the right decision, given the hazardous weather conditions in our community.
We know that this morning’s schedule changes due to weather conditions were disruptive. However, as mentioned before, the safety of our students is paramount. We work with the best information we have at the moment, often making decisions within a very small window of time. If dangerous road conditions are a possibility, we will always choose to exercise extreme caution as we consider getting our approximately 2,500 students to or from school.
When we activate our emergency communication system to notify families of delays or closures, we send approximately 4,000 emails and more than 6,000 phone and text messages. This process takes time, so checking the district’s website and social media platforms, as well as local TV coverage, oftentimes may get you the information faster. Please click here if you need to update any of your contact information on the district’s Parent Portal.
Information regarding school delays and closures can be found on the district website, www.henhudschools.org, and Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HenHudSchools, as well as on the radio at WHUD 100.7; and on TV at News 12 (Optimum Cable), FiOS1 News, Channel 4 (NBC) and Channel 7 (ABC). You may also call 257-5100 for updates on closings or delays.
Joseph E. Hochreiter