Superintendent Ben Halsey recently shared some timely reminders about the weather and its impact at Pioneer. 

"After six years as Pioneer superintendent, I feel it’s a good time to share some information
and reminders for the Western New York winter.

Yes – Pioneer will utilize two-hour delays and snow days should the weather dictate that decision. Our remote capabilities and usage are great tools for instruction; however, I will implement a traditional model for dealing with bad weather.

No – Telling me a storm is coming or asking me on Tuesday what my thoughts are for a storm that is predicted for Thursday—these are not influential in my decision-making. What influences me the most, and this may be surprising to some…is the actual weather. When I am
up at 3:00 a.m. to begin the evaluation process, that’s when I may need some outside feedback.

Two-Hour Delays – Your child’s school will have a schedule of what the day will look like when we utilize a two-hour delay. I suggest having a similar plan for home so that everyone in your family knows what it looks like when school utilizes a two-hour delay. Childcare should be among the considerations for a sudden shift in the schedule.

Bad Weather Happens.  But we are open – As urban legend has it, I am from Alaska and I will never call a snow day. School may still happen even when the weather appears lousy. Remember, we are a 250-square-mile district with multiple elevations. There are times we
have had three different weather patterns occurring at one time. No matter what part of the district you are from, please plan accordingly.

Weather Early Release - In 16 years as a Superintendent – I have implemented an early release for weather…twice. It has to be an extreme situation for me to utilize this practice and dismiss our buildings early. The logic comes from multiple conversations with highway
superintendents over the years who simply say, “We plan accordingly for school dismissals.” Road plowing times and routes are often based on a normal school dismissal time. When
schools dismiss early, we often are being dismissed onto roads that are unprepared. More importantly – sending our youngest students back to homes without proper supervision is an unsafe practice.

Wind Chill – When we get to a wind chill of -15 degrees or below – and it is sustained for an extended period of time— consideration will be given to a two-hour delay or closure. A delay is
more likely to allow time for buses to warm up and for the sun to warm things up outside. However, without having very many walkers, a “wind chill day” is unlikely. Possible, but unlikely.

Be prepared. Dust off the snow day rituals, and we'll weather this together.