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Superintendent: Syosset Needs Early Dismissal Procedure

Snowstorm Janus illuminated problems in absence of such a policy, says Friedman.

Surprisingly, having an official early dismissal procedure in the case of storms such as Janus isn't all too common on Long Island. Syosset Schools Superintendent Dr. Ronald L. Friedman said that, although as few as 20 districts have a policy, it is essential in avoiding complications. 

He wrote a message on Syosset School District's Facebook page recently in favor or developing such an official policy:

After Tuesday's storm, I've been hearing from staff and parents alike: "why can't we have an early dismissal on days like Tuesday when the weather suddenly worsens in the afternoon?" Good question and here's the reality and the possibility. 

The reality is that we do not have, and have not had, apparently ever, such a procedure in Syosset. In order for us to have an early dismissal procedure, we need to establish just that: a procedure.

Only about 20 districts on Long Island, out of about 126 total districts, have one.

Without a procedure, dismissing students early would be very dangerous. We can't have youngsters arriving home an hour early in the middle of a storm and not have someone home to meet them. However - there's no reason why we cannot study what those 20 districts are doing, how their systems work, and seeing if we can set up our own safe and secure procedure to dismiss early if a storm hits in the afternoon as did Tuesday's storm.

The forecast, right through 6 a.m. Tuesday, was "snow starting late morning or around noontime." Clearly, that was wrong - it was snowing at 8 a.m. So in cases like this, it would make sense to have a process, with details, set up in advance so parents know we might be having an early dismissal on such days and would know what we expect of them if we invoke it. 

Tell us: Do you think having an official early dismissal policy would make things a lot easier?

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