School closings, delays, and remote learning days

Dear South Colonie Families, 

We wanted to remind our families about how we will communicate in the event of a school closing, delay, or a shift to a virtual day due to inclement weather.

Taking advantage of the district’s capacity to conduct classes remotely, South Colonie is preparing to shift to remote instruction in the event of inclement weather. This means, when possible, we do not plan to close school or call a snow day during the 2020-21 school year. While this does not mean the end of snow days, our technological resources allow us greater flexibility when making the decision about whether to cancel school.

How we will communicate this information to families

Any changes to a school day and/or where students will receive instruction will be communicated through the district’s mass notification system and delivered by robocall to parents registered in our database. If your child is registered in the school district, you will receive a phone call and email to the contact information we have on file. The message will also be posted to the school district’s websites and shared on the websites of local media outlets. As a reminder, information on school closings and delays will not be shared through the district’s social media channels.

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 the main office informed of any updates to your contact information so that you continue to receive these important updates.

When is the decision made?

Morning closings may be announced as early as 5:30 a.m., but usually by 6:00 a.m. Whenever schools are closed for emergency reasons all after-school activities will be canceled that night.

It is best to rely on more than one source of information when it comes to weather-related announcements. This is particularly true in situations that involve power outages, which can affect the district’s ability to send electronic notifications. Emergency preparedness agencies have advised that residents have access to a battery-powered radio so that they can receive information if other communication channels are unavailable.

How are early dismissals announced?

When the weather becomes inclement during the day and driving conditions become poor, please stay tuned to news about early dismissals through the methods discussed above.

What about delayed openings?

Delayed openings mean 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. Virtual learners would also plan to start their day two-hours later in the event of a delay. 

Please note: Breakfast will not be served on days that we have a delay and unless otherwise indicated, all scheduled activities at South Colonie School District are canceled when school is closed or closes early.

Transportation

Due to 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.

Technology

Google Classroom has been adopted as the Learning Management System (LMS) in grades UPK-12. On remote instruction days, students will access their Google classroom for their instruction. An overview of Google Classroom can be found here.  If your student needs a device at home on these days please let the main office know at your child(ren)’s school.

Food Services

In the event of a shift to virtual or remote learning day due to inclement weather, meals will likely only be available for families if weather permits staff to report to the building. This information will be communicated in the message posted to the district website. If the district closes completely due to inclement weather,  meals will not be available for that day.

On planned remote learning days meals will be available for students via pick-up and delivery. To request meals on planned remote learning days, please email Annette Chamberlain at chamberlaina@scolonie.org.


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.

Sincerely,

Dr. David Perry
Superintendent of Schools