Generally, a decision to close Tonawanda City School District is made when the health, safety, or security of students may be compromised due to inclement weather or other emergency. The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for making the final determination.
When dealing with inclement weather, Tonawanda staff communicates with law enforcement agencies, highway departments, and bus companies. Superintendents in surrounding districts are also contacted to ascertain what their districts may be doing.
Many factors are taken into consideration when deciding to close school due to unsafe conditions. Some of the factors that are considered include:
- Amount and type of snow
- When will the snow fall and when is it expected to end
- Ability to clear parking lots and sidewalks around schools
- Condition of all streets and bus stops
- Freezing rain and the effect on roads, power lines, and tree limbs
- Wind and wind chill (National Weather Service Guidelines are followed)
- Temperature (especially when it is below zero degrees)
When schools are closed for the day, all after-school extracurricular activities are cancelled. This includes sports, field trips, and other performances that might be scheduled.
As always, parents/guardians are the final authority as to whether or not you believe it is safe for your child(ren) to go to school. If you believe it is too cold, or the snow is too deep, or the weather is too compromising, your decision may be to keep your child home.
The decision to delay or close school is normally made by 6 a.m. Announcements are normally made between 6 and 6:30 a.m. in the following ways:
- The District’s Global Connect automated phone/email/text messaging system*
- Local TV channels: 2, 4, 7
- AM Radio station: WBEN 930
- FM Radio stations: WYRK 106.5, WBLK 93.7, STAR 102.5, WJYE 96.1, KISS 98.5
- Tonwanda City School District AM Radio Station: 1670
* The messaging system is capable of delivering a recorded message to a specified call list within a short period of time.
Absence of an announcement by 7 a.m. usually indicates that Tonawanda City Schools are open. Do not call the school or radio stations to inquire as to the closing. Listen to the radio stations and watch the scroll of districts closed on the television.
The fact that nearby districts have closed does not mean that Tonawanda will necessarily close. Conditions of roads can vary greatly from one district to another. There will be no use of school buildings on snow days.
Working with Local Agencies
As part of a Crisis Planning grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the Tonawanda City School District and the Tonawanda Police and Fire Departments have formed a close relationship. Any closings or emergencies are reported directly to the Police and Fire Departments.