School Closing, Delay and Early Dismissal Procedures

With winter weather just around the corner, here is information about our school closing, delay and early dismissal procedures.


School closings, delayed openings and early dismissals resulting from weather conditions or other situations will be provided to parents and the community via the automated calling system.  In addition, information will also be provided to the media and posted on South Colonie’s website and distributed through ParentSquare. Outreach communication is listed below:

  • Automated Calling System
  • This website
  • ParentSquare Notifications
  • Local Television and Radio stations

When a decision is made to close school, delay school, or release students from school early, the Superintendent of Schools will contact everyone via the automated calling system.  District staff members will then contact the media and the Communications Specialist who will post the notifications on this District website and through ParentSquare notifications.

Decision-making Factors

Many different factors are considered when making the decision. Often during the night, when a storm is projected in the weather forecast, our transportation and administrative staff:       

  • Continuously monitor the weather from the National Weather Service paying close attention to the forecasted duration of the storm as well as the severity
  • Evaluate road conditions reported by the N.Y.S. Department of Transportation as well as local Town of Colonie and County Transportation Departments
  • Drive the roads throughout the District paying close attention to neighborhood roads
  • Work in cooperation with our Buildings and Grounds staff to ensure that we can have school parking lots, roads, and sidewalks cleared in time.
  • Make recommendations to the Superintendent who typically makes a decision by 5 a.m.

Delayed Openings

Delayed openings mean all schedules will be delayed by either one or two hours. Bus pickups will be approximately one or two hours later than the scheduled time. The delay schedule can be found on the ASPEN PARENT PORTAL for middle school and high school levels.  At the elementary levels, the start time and end times are also adjusted by one or two hours.

Please continue to monitor all opening delays, as they could potentially turn into school closings. As would be expected, this is dependent upon the weather.

AM Universal Pre-kindergarten does not attend school when there is a delay.

Early Dismissal

When the weather becomes severe during the day and driving conditions become unsafe, or when a state of emergency due to road conditions is declared by New York State or County Law Enforcement, the District may consider early dismissal.  Early dismissal decisions take into consideration the magnitude of the transportation operations, the number of buses required to transport students home, and, in many instances, the possibility that young students may need alternative childcare plans.  Typically, the decision is made by mid-morning for an early afternoon dismissal. When an early dismissal is being considered, typically PM Universal Pre-kindergarten will be cancelled.  For obvious safety reasons, the District only considers this option in very specific situations.  Stay tuned to news about early dismissals through the methods discussed above.

After School and Evening Activity Cancellations

The decision to cancel after-school and evening activities is typically made by noon and publicized using the methods described above. Please note: Parents using CYC for childcare should discuss their procedures in the event of an early dismissal or cancellation.  In most instances, CYC will remain open if South Colonie cancels after-school and evening activities, but will close in the event of an early dismissal or cancellation.