F-M maintains emergency closure procedures for 2021-22

Winter weather is on its way, and now is a good time to become familiar with Fayetteville-Manlius School District’s plans for emergency school closure days.

The district’s 2021-22 academic calendar allows for three emergency closure days, which are used when the district must close due to conditions beyond its control, such as inclement weather or an unplanned loss of utilities.

F-M’s three emergency closure days will be non-instructional days. Staff members and students are not expected to report to school remotely or otherwise on these days. If inclement weather causes a power outage in all or some areas of the district, students may not have access to remote learning, Superintendent Craig J. Tice said. An early-morning decision to close school buildings while simultaneously shifting to remote learning could leave teachers scrambling to prepare virtual lessons, he said. 

The district continues to monitor and evaluate its practices and procedures and will communicate with families if the district uses all of its three scheduled emergency closure days, Tice said.

In that case, one option would be to shift to remote learning on those days when students and staff are precluded from attending in-person due to inclement weather. The state Education Department has granted school districts a waiver that allows them to hold “online” remote instructional days instead of “on-campus” days.  

School delays and early dismissals are not counted as emergency closure days because students receive instruction. 

Emergency Closure Communications

The superintendent uses SchoolMessenger to notify parents, guardians and district staff members of emergency school closings, delays and early dismissals. The system generates an automated phone call, email message and a text message for those parents, guardians and staff members who have opted in to the SchoolMessenger text message service.

If parents or guardians are unsure whether the district has their correct email or phone numbers on file, they should contact their child’s main office.

The district website and local news media will serve as backup notification systems and as a notification source for non-parents or community organizations. 

It is best to rely on more than one source of information when it comes to weather-related announcements. This is particularly true in situations that involve power outages, which can affect the district’s ability to update the website and send electronic notifications.

The district will share school closing and delay information with the following local news media: Spectrum News (channel 10), CNYCentral (channels 3 and 5); LocalSYR (TV channel 9), and syracuse.com.

The district does not use social media to notify the public of an emergency closing or delay since the district cannot control the time frame in which those notifications reach subscribers.

When there is inclement weather, the decision to dismiss early, delay opening or close school is based on the superintendent’s discussions with the F-M transportation director and the latest weather predictions. Unless otherwise noted, all scheduled activities at F-M schools are canceled on the days school is closed or closes early. The same holds true on afternoons when after-school and or evening activities are canceled due to inclement weather.