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Across the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, schools have been on two hour delays due to the frigid temperatures. Our Eva McKend spoke with school officials about the challenges these delays present.
LIBERTY, N.Y. -- For the seniors at Liberty High School, waking up to learn that school will be on a two hour delay is welcome news.
"I like to catch up on my sleep," said Jericho Male.
"It's good to have delays," Christopher Santiago added.
But for school officials, making the decision to delay is a headache. It must done by 5:30 a.m.
The Liberty Central School District has already delayed five times this month but they say with hundreds of students walking more than a mile in freezing weather isn't safe.
"It was really the wind chill that affected decisions because with the way the National Weather Service was predicting windchills from anywhere to 18 to 22 degrees below 0, it's very dangerous for kids to be outside," said Superintendent Bill Silver.
Weather related delayed openings impact attendance. Some parents decide not to send their kids to school all together. It also means less class time for students.
"Instead of periods being their normal 42 minutes, they are 27 or 28 minutes," said Silver.
Teachers say that during this time of year they anticipate the temperature is going to be frigid and plan accordingly.
"I personally plan for the end of the marking period about four or five days earlier than it's scheduled just in case we have delays and closings," said Michael Hazelnis.
Hazelnis teaches Earth Science and posts the weather outside of his classroom daily.
He speaks frequently with his students about the potential for delays and snow days.
"If snow is coming, there are a larger number of students looking outside of my door to see the predictions and very often, you might get a fist pump here or there if they see the percentages are high for a delay or closing," said Hazelnis.
One hundred eighty days of school are required each year.
When school is delayed, it still counts towards a full day of school.