Last Week's Snow Disrupts Tarrytown Area School Calendars

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Spring may just be around the corner, but school districts in Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Irvington are still wondering whether another snow day is on the horizon.

School calendars around Tarrytown have been squeezed this year because of Hurricane Sandy and snow.
School calendars around Tarrytown have been squeezed this year because of Hurricane Sandy and snow. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger

“Certainly around here March is a tricky month,” Tarrytown Superintendent Howard Smith said, noting that it's another snowfall could make the roads too dangerous to hold classes. “We never particularly make a pronouncement that we're out of the woods.”

Last week's winter storm caused many districts to use up the last of the remaining snow days or make further cuts to vacation breaks during a calendar year filled with trouble.

Hurricane Sandy caused many districts to close for as long as a week in fall — using up the snow days they had planned to use in winter. Snowstorms in early 2013 added pressure to school calendars.

The state requires schools to hold classes for at least 180 days.

The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns has two snow days left. The district used three of its original days for Hurricane Sandy. School officials decided to delay opening, instead of closing, during the last two snowstorms.

It uses a number of sources, such as weather services and village public works departments, when making the call to close school because of weather, Smith said. If the weather is tapering off, then a two-hour delay may make more sense.

“We take it very seriously, and you make the best judgment you can with all the information you have available,” he said. “The first consideration is student safety.”

Students in the Pocantico Hills Central School District will see a shorter spring break because of the calendar disruptions. Last Friday's storm means students will now be expected in class on March 22, as well as March 25 and 26. Spring break will begin March 27.

The district has no remaining snow days.

The Irvington Union Free School District used its last remaining snow day Friday. Irvington students had already lost three days of the mid-winter recess and a superintendent conference day in April to make up for a weeklong closure after Hurricane Sandy.

The district noted early in 2013 that future snow days would come out of spring break, which takes place at the end of March.

Mother Nature could throw more winter weather at the area, although no major snowfall is predicted through next week, says David Stark, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Historically, snow has fallen in the area through March, Stark says.

“The likelihood becomes less as we head into the end of the month,” he said.

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