Saranac Lake schools out of snow days

Another storm on the way Tuesday into Wednesday

SARANAC LAKE — Snow days and delays — how does inclement weather affect instructional time for our local educational institutions?

Closing on Thursday used the Saranac Lake Central School District’s last scheduled snow day.

“I am recommending to the Board at it’s 2/20 meeting that it consider amending the district calendar to be in session on May 24, 2019 should another school cancellation be necessary,” SLCSD Superintendent Diane Fox wrote in an email.

Another snowstorm is on its way Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday afternoon with the possibility of even more closures.

School districts build expendable instructional days into their schedules in case cancellation due to weather or other emergency events is necessary.

Lake Placid Central School District Superintendent Roger Catania said his district schedules 184 days of school but is only required to have 180. The district has used two, including Thursday. He said if they end up using the other two, then the administration will look ahead at vacation days that could be used as school days.

The Tupper Lake Central School District has used two of its four snow days so far, one in November and one in January. The district needs 180 days of instruction yearly, and delegates four days as “snow days.”

Secretary to the Superintendent Shauni Shumway said Tupper Lake did not get the same icy conditions Saranac Lake and Lake Placid experienced Thursday and that kids and buses were safe getting to school.

Colleges function differently with their instructional time. North Country Community College doesn’t have extra days built in that it is at risk of depleting, like school districts so.

“That being said we’ve certainly used more this winter than in the last few prior winters,” NCCC Director of Communications Chris Knight wrote in an email, “all in the interest of keeping our students (many of whom are commuters), faculty and staff safe.”

He added that there will be a meeting on Friday for administration to discuss how lost time could potentially be made up.

“In the past situations, each instructional faculty gets to determine how best to address lost instructional time,” NCCC President Steve Tyrell wrote in an email, “how they want to address critical content that needs to be covered before the end of the semester and to do so in a way that is considerate of the wide variety of important responsibilities our large commuter population still need to meet in respect to the rest of their livelihoods.”

Paul Smiths College has canceled two full days of classes so far this year, once in November and once in January, as well as cancelling evening classes on Wednesday. The college does not have a specific number of how many snow days are “left” after these two, according to Chief Marketing Officer Shannon L. Oborne.

Oborne said the college chooses whether to close school or not based on safety and professors alter their schedules around that. She said safety officers will call state police to get road condition and safety reports.


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