With frequent snowstorms and other weather-related incidents hitting central New York this season, Cayuga County-area school districts are either getting close to their number of planned cancellation days or have already reached their limit.
Every school has to be in session for 180 days, so districts build extra days into their calendars in case of weather-related cancellations so they don't resort to turning vacation days into normal school days. Districts can have up to four conference days for professional development out of that 180-day span. Some districts have considered using May 24, the Friday before Memorial Day, as a contingency day if the district exceeds its planned weather-related cancellations.
Jordan-Elbridge Central School District Superintendent Jim Froio said the district has used all seven days planned in the district's calendar. He said the district has reached the number of snow days it can have for three years now. He said he added two more days to the calendar than in years past, and yet the district is still right on the limit. The district could use days from April recess, April 15-22, as contingency days if necessary, most likely starting with April 22, he said.
"I hope I don't have to, but with the way this winter has been going I would be pleasantly surprised if I don't use another day between now and the end of the winter season," Froio said.
Weedsport Central School District Superintendent Shaun O'Connor said six days were built into the calendar, and five have been used so far.
"One of those things that I always worry about is continuity of instruction. When you have snow days and delays you have a herky-jerky scenario where it's difficult to build on instruction with consistency," O'Connor said.