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Sidney Central School District keeps students safe during cold mornings

SIDNEY (WBNG) — The winter weather was enough to delay schools across the Southern Tier on Tuesday morning.

Students headed back to class in cold temperatures after a long three-day weekend.

Sidney Central School District made sure students who normally walk to school got a bus ride instead.

“A few years ago our standard protocol was to delay or in some cases just cancel school when it was this cold,” said Bill Christensen, Sidney Central School District Superintendent of Schools.

Christensen changed that five years ago.

“That can be a bigger stressor,” he said. “Kids are not necessarily getting fed. Kids are being left home alone.”

A newer policy gives parents a different alternative.

“Our parents appreciate the fact that we recognize that they also need to go off to work and at the same time recognizing the fact that we shouldn’t have kids as young as seven or eight years old walking in negative ten, negative 20, wind chill in the morning,” said Christensen.

Students who normally walk on colder mornings have the opportunity for a warm bus ride.

“Students basically either go to a bus stop or a closest location where they know a bus goes by and our drivers basically stop and pick up anyone who is walking to school,” he added.

“Approximately 15 to 20 students we did pick up this morning,” said Sidney Central School District Business Administrator Michael Pavlovich. “I know we are receptive to parents calling in. We will transport those students going home today.”

The superintendent says this policy has been successful over the years.

“We recognize that safety is our most important job and we feel that this just helps make our community even safer,” said Christensen. “Making sure that the students are getting to school, but most importantly that they’re getting to school safely.”

Parents were either notified via phone call or through social media Monday night about Tuesday morning.

Esperanza Gutierrez

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