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Snow Days Squeeze Tarrytown-Area School Calendars

A man plows Independence Street in Tarrytown after Winter Storm Nemo.
A man plows Independence Street in Tarrytown after Winter Storm Nemo. Photo Credit: Katharine Swibold

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. –Say it ain't snow!

Local school districts are grappling with their school calendars after Winter Storm Nemo dumped several inches of snow on Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Irvington.

“Yes, winter is here,” Irvington Superintendent Kristopher Harrison said while discussing snow days during Tuesday's Board of Education meeting.

Hurricane Sandy forced many of the hard-hit districts to revise their calendars after students lost a week of classes in the fall. The early closures mean some school districts have already used up their allotted snow days for this year with several more weeks of winter to go.

The New York State Education Department requires districts to have 180 school days in their calendar.

New York State Education Department Commissioner John King can excuse up to five of the necessary 180 school days for "extraordinary circumstances," according to the department, but only after all possible vacation days are used by the district.

The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns decided to hold classes on Friday, dismissing students early instead of closing for the day. The district's calendar originally included five snow days and has not been revised since Sandy.

“We've taken three days for Hurricane Sandy, so that leaves us two days in the bank,” District Clerk Nelly Valentin said.

Students in the Pocantico Hills Central School District and the Irvington Union Free School District, however, will see shorter vacation breaks this year because of a lack of remaining snow days.

Pocantico Hills revised its calendar in November after Hurricane Sandy shut the district down for a week. Friday's snow closure means students lost March 25, a day of the Spring Recess, District Clerk Gina Downes said.

Pocantico Hills has no remaining snow days left. The district's revised calendar calls for the next snow day to be made up during Spring Recess.

Irvington students have already lost three days of their mid-winter recess and a superintendent conference day in April to make up for a week-long closure after Hurricane Sandy.

Irvington school officials kept two snow days in their revised calendar, meaning that they now have one remaining snow day. Future make-up days will come out of Spring Break as needed.

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