School closure protocols and remote learning

Dear DCS community:

As is often the case in upstate New York, Mother Nature beat me to the punch today in informing everyone about our school closure protocols. As elementary parents noticed this morning, the Department of Education has allowed school districts the opportunity to pilot the use of remote instruction in place of school closures. While this does not mean the end of snow days forever, our technological resources allow us greater flexibility when making the decision about whether or not to cancel school. 

In all events, changes in school closure status will be communicated by the district’s auto calling system One Call Now and will be posted on our website and the websites of local media outlets. We will do our best to notify you regarding closures with as much advanced notice as possible so that you can make necessary arrangements. 

Remote Learning Days

If you see a message that says “Remote Learning Day,” that means that students should not report to school, but should report for remote instruction. 

Jr./Sr. High School: Login to class at the normal start time and follow your typical schedule for that school day. 

Elementary School: Login to homeroom at 9 a.m. Follow the instructions of the teacher and the schedule below.

  • Homeroom: 9:00-9:15
  • ELA – 9:15 until no later than 10:00 a.m.
  • Math – 10:15 until no later than 11:15 a.m.
  • Social Studies/Science – 11:45 a.m. until no later than 12:30 p.m.
  • Special Ed. Support Services – 12:30 until no later than 1:15 p.m.
  • RTI Services will join ELA and Math instruction 
  • Art/Music/PE will post activities for students to access in the afternoon


If some circumstance that prevents even remote instruction from occurring, you will see a message labeled “School Closed.” In this event, students would not be obligated to report in person or to remote classes. 


In the event that additional time is needed in the morning to ready the schools for in person instruction, you will see a message labeled “District on (1 or 2) Hour Delay.” This means that the Jr./Sr. High School will follow its delay schedule beginning and the Elementary School will begin classes at 11 a.m. 

Early Dismissal During Inclement Weather

In the rare event that early dismissal is necessary, notification will be made as early in the day as possible. All parents, especially working parents, should instruct children about where to go if schools are dismissed unexpectedly during the day.

Additional Information About Cancellations

As a general rule, when school is closed for the day or there is an early dismissal, all extracurricular activities, athletic activities, and evening events are cancelled unless otherwise announced.

Parent Judgement and Unique Circumstances

Parents who deem roads unsafe for travel due to weather or feel that the weather conditions are not acceptable for their child(ren) to attend school, regardless of a district announcement, should use their own judgment as to whether to send their child to school or to transport them at  a later time. Instructional time is crucial to ensuring our students’ academic success, but the safety of our students is always the district’s first priority.

We also know that some circumstances, such as home power outages, will sometimes prevent attendance remotely or in person. Please notify the office of the building your child(ren) attend so that they are aware of these events

I hope that this information provides you with some insight into our school closure protocols. As always, please let me know if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your continued support, 

Dr. James Niedermeier