Emergency Closings & Delays

Emergency Closings & Delays

The Warwick Valley Central School District may close or dismiss students early when inclement weather occurs.

Every possible effort is made to release this information before 5:30 a.m. so parents and staff are notified before they leave for work. Closings, delays, and early dismissal information is communicated in many ways, including: 

  • The WVCSD mobile apps – there’s one for each of the district’s four schools – are the best way to receive alerts. The apps are free and work with Apple and Android phones. Find them at the App Store and Google Play. 
  • Posted on the district’s website, Facebook, and Twitter 
  • School Messenger Service (text and email)
  • TV stations:  WABC-TV, WNBC-TV, FOX 5/NNYW, Hudson Valley News 12
  • FM radio: 93.5 WTBQ; 92.1 Lite-FM; 92.7, 96.9 WRRV; Star 93.3;  94.1, 95.7, 96.7, 103.1, 107.7 FOX; 94.3, 97.3 The Wolf; 96.1 KISS FM; MIX 97.7; 98.9 Fox Oldies; News Talk 99.3 WKIP; 100.7 WHUD; 101.5, 106.1, 106.3 WPDH; and 107.3
  • AM radio: 1110 WTBQ; 1220 Fox Oldies; 1340, 1390 Radio Disney; 1450 WKIP-AM

Please keep in mind that a power outage may prevent information from being posted on the website, Facebook and Twitter, or from being viewed on cable TV. If power is out, please listen for school closure announcements on one of the radio stations listed above.

Please do not call the bus garage. Those phone lines must be kept free for emergency calls. 

Order of dismissals

During an early dismissal, high school and middle school students are released first, along with the parochial schools. Then the elementary schools are dismissed approximately an hour later. This ensures that older siblings arrive home before younger brothers and sisters.

Whatever the grade level, parents are reminded to make sure all school-age children know what to do in case of early dismissal.

Making the decision 

The decision to close school, delay opening, or dismiss early is never made lightly. Many factors are considered, with student safety always the most important. The decision is based on the recommendations of transportation and facilities directors and after thorough analysis of the following factors:

  • Information on road conditions from transportation staff and police. District leaders must determine whether or not road conditions will allow drivers to transport students safely to school. Careful consideration is given to the most dangerous roads in the 86 square miles traveled by district buses. Beginning at 3:30 a.m., the director of transportation drives many of these roads, particularly those in higher elevations, to determine if they are safe. Input on road conditions is also received from the police and Warwick’s highway supervisor.
  • Current weather conditions and accumulation. The decision is also based on snow accumulation and if  precipitation is continuing.
  • Temperature and wind chill. Because some students walk to school and most must wait outside for the bus, frigid temperatures can put students at risk.
  • Weather predictions. While administrators prefer not to make a decision based on weather predictions, sometimes this is unavoidable, especially when a major storm is predicted. Our district receives regular updates from the National Weather Service and Doppler Radar. Updated every five minutes, Doppler provides detailed reports on the storm’s current location and its projected path.
  • District buildings and parking lot conditions. Buildings must have electricity and heat, and maintenance staff must be able to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and parking lots.
  • Other school districts. It is common practice to check with neighboring districts. 

It is important to note that when the decision is made to open school, it cannot be reversed later in the morning without endangering students. Many parents rely on our decision to determine when they will leave for work. If conditions worsen, students cannot be transported right back home, because many will return to unsupervised bus stops and empty houses.

While administrators go through a comprehensive decision-making process before deciding to open or close school, it is not an exact science. If school is open but you feel it is not safe for your child to attend, use your best judgment. Additionally, parents of teen drivers concerned about them driving in poor conditions should know there is a seat available on the bus for every student.