Emergency School Closings
School closings due to inclement weather or other situations will be announced on social media, local radio and television stations; posted on the district website; and communicated via e-Alert to subscribers.
The decision to close schools in weather-related situations normally will be made by the superintendent by 6 a.m. The safety of students and staff is the basis for any decision. Key factors that are considered include current and projected weather conditions, particularly for the Town of Amherst and northern Erie County; and road conditions, as reported by the Amherst Police and the district's Transportation Department* (see special note, below).
At times, temperature and wind chill factors are also a consideration in whether or not to close schools. Health officials recommend that the district consider closing schools if the wind chill is expected to fall to minus-25 F or lower.
When schools are closed due to inclement weather, local television stations (Channels 2, 4, 7 and Spectrum News) will be notified as well as the following radio stations: WBEN-AM (930); WNED-AM (970); WKSE-FM (98.5); and WGR-FM (96.6). The fastest way to get news about a snow day is by signing up for eAlerts and following the district on Facebook and Twitter.
If schools are closed because of bad weather, all other activities including athletic practices and contests, student activities, and Community Education classes will be cancelled. If schools are closed for other reasons, activities and sports that are not affected by the specific situation may be permitted with prior approval of the building principal.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of parents or guardians to make the final decision regarding school attendance. If schools are open but parents feel the weather is too severe, they have the right to keep their child(ren) home. In this instance, it is essential that the parent contact the school to alert them of their child(ren)’s absence and to make arrangements for missed school work.
*Special Note: On rare occasions, severe weather conditions and road closures in other parts of Western New York may impact the district's ability to operate school. A recent example is the Snow-vember Storm of 2014 when severe weather conditions and municipal travel bans prevented many WCSD staff members from getting into work. Also, the district's bus contractor Student Transportation of America, located in Cheektowaga (on Aero Drive), was not able to put buses on the road due to surrounding road closures. Meanwhile, much of the Amherst area was spared by the storm!
Closing during the school day
On rare occasions it may be necessary to close a school during the day due to loss of power, loss of water or other emergent situations. If this occurs, procedures are in place to transport students to another building, if necessary. Students and staff would remain at the alternate site until the regular dismissal time. A pre-established program of instruction would be implemented.
Parents are reminded to provide the school office with up-to-date emergency contact information. Also, families are encouraged to have a plan in place should students be dismissed early because of an unanticipated emergency. Your children should be familiar with a safe alternate site (e.g. neighbor’s house) where they may go in the event that you are not home. Please make sure your child's school has updated emergency contact information for the current year!
The District’s e-Alert System service allows parents, students, faculty, staff and community members to sign up to receive email and text messages about school or district-related emergency information. In the event there is a need to communicate regarding a school emergency or school closing, the system enables us to rapidly communicate to all subscribers. You can register on-line by clicking HERE or on the e-Alert banner on the homepage. e-Alert is an opt-in service; you may opt out at any time by revising your information on the website. Please note that cell provider text messaging rates may apply.