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Weather-related closures and delays

Filed in Archive by on November 16, 2020

Important update to snow days, delays – Feb. 5, 2021

With the school closure on Tuesday, Feb. 2, the Bethlehem Central School District has used all of its allotted snow days for the year. Tuesday was the third weather-related closure of 2020-21. The others took place on October 8 (power outages) and December 17 (snowstorm). Each year, the district’s school calendar is designed to accommodate the state-mandated number of instructional days. The allotment of snow days can fluctuate from year to year. This year’s allotment was three days.

As a result, if inclement weather necessitates another school closure, a snow day will become a virtual learning day. Families of students in K-5 would follow the same schedule used during the COVID school closure in December. Students in grades 6-12 would follow their regular schedule for that day.

By using virtual learning days if needed, all scheduled break periods (February and April) will remain intact. Friday, May 28, 2021, which had been a contingent day, will be a regular day of in-person instruction and hybrid instruction.

It is important to keep in mind that if there are widespread power outages due to weather, online instruction could not take place and a snow day would be declared. In that case, an adjustment to the school calendar would be required, likely using a day during the April break (April 2-9) to make up the instructional day.

In the event of a school delay, please review the following school delay procedures that were revised in fall 2020:

Two-hour delay

There will be no two-hour delays used in 2020-21.

One-hour delay

If morning weather conditions require extra time for bus preparation and for roads to be cleared, the district will only use a one-hour delay, instead of a two-hour delay. 

Students in grades K-5 would attend school in person, and ALL students in grades 6-12 would continue to receive virtual instruction according to the following schedules. Please read this information carefully:

  • BCHS.
    • ALL students in grades 9-12 are remote-only, 9 a.m. start time
    • No in-person instruction for BCHS BEEP, RISE students
    • No transportation for CTE students, morning or afternoon
    • View BCHS one-hour delay schedule.
  • BCMS
    • ALL students in grades 6-8 are remote-only, 9 a.m. start time
    • No in-person instruction for BCMS Skills and Intensive Skills students
    • View BCMS one-hour delay schedule.
  • Elementary Schools
    • 10:10 a.m.
  • K-5 Virtual Learning Academy
    • 10:10 a.m.

Additional details

  • As part of the one-hour delay, elementary buses will pick up students one hour later than the student’s scheduled pick up time.
  • If school is canceled or delayed, the Special Education and Student Services (SESS) Department will cancel all CSE meetings and will send a notice of rescheduled meetings to families who are impacted by these changes.
  • Staff will be notified whether they are to report to their buildings on the day any weather-related decisions are made. 

How BC communicates weather-related closures

Cancellations, delays or early dismissals are posted on the school district’s website, right on the homepage at www.bethlehemschools.org.

School closings are also announced on the following local TV and radio stations: Channel 6, Channel 9, NEWS10, Channel 13, FOX23, WGNA (107.7 FM), WGY (810 AM), WYJB (B95.5), WRVE (99.5 FM), as well as http://timesunion.com. We will also post closings and delays on the district’s Twitter (twitter.com/BethlehemCSD) page.

For district parents and staff, closing information will be sent directly to you via email using School Messenger. If you have opted in to receive SMS text messaging through School Messenger, you will also receive a text message.

You can check to see if you are signed up to receive text messages by texting “Y” to 67587.

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.