December 1, 2013


RE:  Procedures on Days with Citywide Emergency Conditions or on Major Storm Days


 Dear Parents/Guardians,


This letter is being sent to you to explain the procedures we follow in the case of a day with citywide emergency conditions or a major storm day.  The Chancellor will make an announcement to all public schools in the city on whether to close schools or delay their opening.  This announcement is made in consultation with other City officials.  All authorized delayed openings will result in the regular starting time being two hours later. (Please note that in addition to this two hour delay, the morning or afternoon extra 37.5 minute session for small group instruction, tutoring or test preparation, will be cancelled).


By 6:00 A.M. the decision is announced on the 311 Information Line, on the Department of Education website Home Page (which can be accessed at http://schools, and on the following radio stations in the city:  WINS (1010 AM), WCBS (880 AM), WABC (770 AM), WLIB (1190 AM), WADO (1280 AM), WBLS (107.5 FM), WNYE (91.5 FM), as well as the following television stations:  WCBS (Channel 2), WNBC (Channel 4), WNYW (Fox Channel 5), WABC (Channel 7), WNYE (Channel 25), Univision Channel 41, and “NY 1” (Channel 1 on cable television).  Major radio news stations, such as WINS (1010 AM) and WCBS (880 AM), should be listened to on portable radios in the event of a major blackout.


When there is an authorized citywide school closing or delayed school opening, the following will be cancelled unless the Chancellor makes an announcement to the contrary:  All field trips, all extra 37.5 minute sessions for small group instruction, tutoring or test preparation at the start or at the end of the regular school day, all after school programs (including Community-Based Organization after school programs on public school sites), and all after school program transportation (including transportation to after school programs at Community-Based Organization sites).


 When there is an authorized citywide delayed school opening, school buses will run, but their arrival times will be delayed by two hours.  In addition, buses will not be available for any start or end of day extra 37.5 minute sessions for small group instruction, tutoring or test preparation (since these sessions will be cancelled).  Morning pre-kindergarten programs within public schools will also be cancelled.


It is expected that when there is a delayed opening, all end of day extra sessions will be cancelled.  As a result, all students will be dismissed at the regular time for students not attending the extra 37.5 minute sessions for small group instruction, tutoring or test preparation.  However, if citywide emergency conditions or a storm worsen, the Chancellor may have to announce an early dismissal.  The Chancellor will notify bus services of the earlier dismissal schedule.  You should advise your child to tell the teacher if no one is at home at the time of an authorized early dismissal.  You should have plans in place with a relative, friend or neighbor in case your child is released early and you will not be at home to care for him or her.  Your child should know of your plans.  Please note that you must have listed that relative, friend or neighbor on the school’s “BLUE EMERGENCY CONTACT CARD” because schools are not authorized to release pupils to persons not listed on that card.  You may also identify on the card a person or persons who should not have access to your child, as well as indicate the actions you would like the school to take if none of your listed contacts can be reached.  The school will follow your recommendations as much as possible.  It is important that you make certain that the card is up-to-date.  If your child takes a school bus, school staff will remain in school with the bused children until buses arrive for dismissal or until your child is picked up.


 If you have a child with a disability, you should use your discretion in deciding whether to send him or her to school when there is a delayed opening.  If your child has medical or other health issues requiring nursing or other services during the school day, including services requiring a nurse or paraprofessional to ride on the bus, you should consider not sending your child to school.  Please be reminded that you child will not be picked up if a nurse or paraprofessional who is required to ride with him or her is not aboard the school bus.


Thank you for your cooperation.



Desmond Park