MONTROSE, N.Y. – In order to avoid cutting into scheduled vacation time, Hendrick Hudson School District officials tried to open all of the schools on a two-hour delay Friday. But Mother Nature didn’t allow it, said Interim Superintendent Brian Monahan.
“We have used all of our snow days like everybody else,” Monahan said. “That’s why we tried a two-hour delay but the weather didn’t cooperate.”
With Hurricane Sandy canceling classes in the Hendrick Hudson School District for one week, the district resorted to using delayed openings and early closings to avoid using further inclement weather days that could eat into vacation time. Friday morning's snowstorm proved too dangerous for driving and the district was forced to use another snow day. As a result, the previously scheduled vacation day of Thursday, March 28 will now be a school day, Monahan said. The district previously changed Monday, April 1 into a school day.
“As I walked around the different schools (Thursday) people begged me to get school open (Friday),” Monahan said. “Some of the other days we lost were days around the edges, but now we’re losing one in the middle of the week. It’s going to be a real inconvenience for many students and parents.”
The state mandates schools be in session for 180 days and if a school fails to comply with the measure, the school faces a loss of state aid. The state did provide an exemption last school year because of the damage done by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Monahan isn’t so sure the same will happen this year.
“We are hopeful but not optimistic,” he said. “Usually (an exemption) does not happen until all of your possible vacation days are used so it’s really not likely. Now some of the days we’re losing have religious significance for some people so it’s obviously troubling. We’re hoping this is the last time we’ll need to do this.”
For attendance purposes, delayed openings count as full school days, and don't count against the mandatory 180-day rule. Any more emergency days would need to be made up on Wednesday, March 27.