Understanding the Process

Decisions to close schools or have a delayed opening or early dismissal in River Vale are made collectively with the superintendents of the Region II District, which includes Hillsdale, the Pascack Valley Regional High School District, Montvale,Woodcliff Lake, Park Ridge, Emerson, and Westwood. This is done for a variety of reasons, including the fact that we share busing and other resources.  The safety of students and staff is always our primary concern; however, there are many factors that influence these decisions.

Depending on local weather forecasts, the Region II school superintendents will convene a conference call to discuss the best possible options for opening school. This conference call is generally early in the morning, so we have the most updated information available at the time a decision needs to be made.  
Prior to the conference call, each superintendent has reviewed a number of different weather forecasts, and has consulted with local officials as to the following factors:
  • Road Conditions: River Vale staff members drive to school, many parents drive students to school, and some students take the bus, so information is gathered regarding current and projected road conditions throughout the community.
  • Other Local Conditions: For students who walk to school or take the bus, the attempt is made to ascertain how much snow is on sidewalks, as we do not want students walking in the street, or waiting at a bus stop in the street.
  • Time and Facilities Considerations: Our custodial staff is outstanding in River Vale; however, we must have a realistic assessment of (A) whether they will have the time to effectively clean our parking lots, and (B) if there is sufficient space to put accumulating snow.
  • Regional Considerations: As part of the Pascack Valley Regional High School District, many River Vale families have children attending both Pascack Valley High School and River Vale’s schools. Therefore, it is important that decisions are made in consensus with both Hillsdale and Pascack Valley High School.
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