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Rensselaer Central
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Inclement Weather - RCSC

  • Welcome to the Inclement Weather Information Center for Rensselaer Central Schools.  Here is some info about our process and answers to common questions about how and when we decide to have delays or cancellations.

    General Protocol For Snow

    When it snows overnight or in the early morning, the superintendent and others drive around different parts of the district to check the roads. They look at county and main streets, as well as side roads, to see the conditions. If your area has bad weather, let us know.   Many things go into deciding whether to delay or cancel school, like

    • How much and what type of snow or rain
    • Temperature and wind chill
    • Visibility
    • How well roads and sidewalks are cleared
    • Whether melted snow from the day before has frozen again
    • If more snow is expected

    By 4:45 a.m., conditions are assessed across the school district. Additionally, area school superintendents share road conditions for students who may need transportation to Rensselaer Schools. By 5 a.m., the superintendent shares their recommendation and discusses options for the day. When possible, a decision is made by 6:00 p.m. the evening prior to a delay or cancellation. A cancellation or delay must be made by 6:00 a.m. but typically the decision is made between 5:00- 5:30 a.m.


    General Protocol for Extreme Cold & Wind

    Dealing with extreme cold is a bit different. There's no specific temperature that always means a delay or cancellation because it depends on many things.  RCSC closely monitors the National Weather Service and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for regular weather updates and forecasts.

    For Extremely Cold Temperatures:

    • Air temperatures that are forecasted significantly below 0 degrees for 7 AM could trigger a two-hour delay.
    • If those temperatures aren’t forecasted to improve by 9 a.m. (when a two-hour delay would end), then schools could move to an eLearning Day.

    For Extreme Wind Chill:

    • Wind chill prediction is more of a moving target than air temperatures because of varying wind speeds from place to place.
    • As a general guideline, Rensselaer uses the NOAA wind chill chart.
    • When wind chills start to approach the 10 minutes to frostbite range, we consider that the danger zone.
    • We look at the locally forecasted wind chills for our district and if they’re predicted to fall near the danger zone by 7 a.m., we would consider a two-hour delay.
    • If wind chills aren’t expected to improve by 9 a.m. (when a two-hour delay would end), we would consider a cancellation.

Fog Delays and Cancellation

Decisions to delay or cancel based on fog can be very difficult.  Some areas of the district may have dense fog while others are clear.  In addition, an area may be clear and in a short amount of time, fog can set in.  Whether there is going to be daylight is also a factor that is considered.
When fog is expected or reported, superintendents and others drive the school districts' roads.  Considerable discussion occurs among area superintendents to try to get a good idea of the extent and denseness of the fog.
Fog delays and cancellations are typically made closer to 5:30 a.m., to give more time to determine the affect fog will have on driving safety.

Frequently Asked Questions....

When do you make the final call?
    • The goal is to inform all families and staff before 5:30 a.m. to ensure as much time to align work and childcare plans as possible.
Where can I get the most accurate information on school closing or changes?
    • Our website, the Rensselaer Central Schools Corporation Facebook page, WLFI TV-18 and WLQI 97.7 are good sources of information. 
If there's early dismissal due to inclement weather, will my child still receive transportation services?
    • Yes your child will still receive transportation services although there may be delays due to poor road conditions.
In the case of early dismissal are after-school practices, clubs and evening programs cancelled?
    • Yes. All after-care, activities, sports, and evening programs are cancelled if school is closed or closed early due to weather
How much time can a school miss and still count it as a day of instruction?
    • An instructional day where a two-hour delay or two-hour early dismissal occurs in response to an incident that could jeopardize the safety of staff and students may contribute to the 180 instructional day total. 
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