Parents To Mayor: Make Up Your Mind On School Closings

Bloomberg Promises Decision For Wednesday By 5 A.M.

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s a waiting game to find out if New York City children will go to school Wednesday.

And some parents are angry saying Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s late call will leave them scrambling for child care, reports CBS 2’s Demetra Ganias.

We’re expecting a snowy mess when we wake up Wednesday morning, but students and teachers might just get a snow day. The problem is they’ll have to wait until 5 a.m. to figure it out. That’s a problem for many parents, especially because the mayor has already declared a weather emergency.

When Ganias reached out to the Department of Education about the late call to close schools she was told that Mayor Bloomberg and Education Chancellor Cathie Black will compare notes and make a final decision. However, many parents are begging for more of a heads up.

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“By this evening, at least by 8 o’clock this evening. Let us know something, so we can prepare for tomorrow,” one Upper West Side parent said.

When asked what she is going to do if she has to work and the kids are home, one parent from Brooklyn said, “I really don’t know. I’m stuck, just like the last time.”

That woman stayed home with the kids during the Dec. 26 storm and she’ll do it again, but no faking sick.

“I’m honest, because sometimes there’s no way to commute with the streets the way they are,” she said.

School buses are a major factor in helping the Department of Education to decide whether or not to cancel school. So it’s not just about how much of the white stuff falls, but how safe it is to be on the road.

The Department of Education is advising parents to create a contingency plan, so children are not home alone.

The DOE also said school staff are “responsible and obligated” to report to work on time.

It’s not all sympathy, though, for teachers commuting from outside the boroughs.

“I don’t think teachers should live outside of the city, personally,” one man said.

And some argue the game-time decision is wise, given the weather’s fickle nature.

The last time schools were closed by snow was Feb. 26 of last year. In fact, schools were also shut down by snow on Feb. 10.

In New Jersey, many parents – like Dr. Patricia Czernizer – were relieved that their kids’ schools announced that they were closed, meaning their children wouldn’t have to brave nasty road conditions, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

“That way, I will wake up in the morning, do my thing, and he could stay home and worry about going the next day,” Dr. Czernizer said.

However, some parents complained that the cancellations, many announced late Tuesday night, made it difficult to make arrangements for child care their younger kids while they went to work.

More from Christine Sloan
  • carol henderson

    You are all as whiny as your kids probably are. The Mayor didn’t close schools and he shouldn’t have based on the amount of snow. If many kids weren’t in school on that January day, blame there lazy parents, not the Mayor.

    • Jeff

      You moron! You need to go back to school for your spelling mistakes. It is “their lazy parents” not “there lazy parents.” Would you want your kids to get on a school bus if driving conditions are dangerous. You are some idiot LOL Parents are not lazy-it is hard to make arrangements for childcare last minute, especially if the parents have to go to work. Did you even graduate elementary school? This is common sense. THe point of the article is not that “he should close shools” it is to make a decision like Long Island, Westchester, Jersey, Philly, Boston, and all other school districts do, which is the evening before.

  • Shuttle Service Romania

    Good day, MY PARTNER AND I agree with a person, if you ever arrive at Romania you do have a beer out of me: ) Regards!

  • Joanne

    Well Congratulations Mayor Bloomberg. You decided to open schools today (I mean your free daycare), and most of the students did not show up anyway. I am glad to say parents of NYC school children had more sense than you. I can also thank you since my husband is a school bus driver who had to leave home at 4AM prior to you even making the call to get to his bus and clean it off to go out on the roads, which you asked people to stay off of, and needless to say not one child on his bus route attended school today. Let’s see whenever he gets home tonight how many children attended the school her services in the afternoon.

  • Fritz

    The longer he waits to give the thumbs up or down, the longer he is the center of attention.

  • The Solution

    SOLUTION FOR YOU COMPLAINERS – Move to Haiti. I hear property is real cheap and no government to tell you what to do. Plus you won’t have to worry about the snow.

  • NYC HS Teacher

    I am a NYC High School Teacher and I have had enough of Mayor Bloomberg! Today I am nothing but a glorified baby-sitter, which is not what I have been trained to do. We cannot educate 28% of students who manage to get to school on a day like today. Nor should we endanger our lives and our childrens lives in 10 inches of snow. Staten Island was NOT plowed this morning – especially the side streets and trekking to work was dangerous and difficult. Moreover, the cost of leaving schools open to babysit is a waste of tax dollars – the subs, the coverages, the wasted food in cafeterias – How can he declare a storm emergency, ask us to stay off of roads AND then open schools . So, everyone EXCEPT teachers should stay off the roads? Mayor Bloomberg needs to wake up and be realistic about what people really need – and we DO NOT NEED HIM!

    • Forgetting What It Means to be a Teacher

      We probably don’t need you too. Sounds like you are unhappy, so quit!

  • The Good Samaritan

    Children should be in school learning not staying home watching TV or playing videos games.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

    • danny

      and yet only 25% show up on “snow days”

  • Bill Costello

    I work at a NYC public high schol. attendance Is25%. The parents have spoken, they kept their kids home.

  • Ellen Weisman

    Elementary school students may live around the block from their schools but High School students travel. The sidewalks have not yet been shoveled. The plows have blocked the curbs at the crosswalks with the snow they’ve plowed. I made my own decision regarding the safety of my child. So have many parents so he will lose the $ anyway.

  • hp

    I for one, am SICK of it. Bloomy cares more about state & fed aid than the kids & parents. I was going about 8-11mph, sliding around… got my kids to school, one of them was late… and if I hear from the DOE about them being late one more time I am going to scream.

    If you tell people it’s a snow emergency and to stay home, then order the kids to school

  • i see you

    Whaaaaa the mayor this the mayor that… get a grip on reality and take control over your own lives. If you want your kids to stay home then fine, have them stay home. I had to goto work and am glad my kids have school so i didnt have to take off. Its called a choice, make a damn decision.

    Bravo mayor, dont mind these dependent spoiled babies that need their belly and ears rubbed to be happy and feel secured.

    • joe

      I See you…

      Who is the dependant baby, the peopel who didnt want to risk serious injury, needing medical care, fire, ems, or police, or…..

      You who need school to be open so you dont have to take off work?

      And the idiot in the artical who thinks the city should only hire teachers who live in the city…. What woul dteh quality of teachers be then. Only teachers who live in brownsville may teach there??? And how much would you need to pay a teacher who must live on teh UES or Bayside????

      you people are dumb.

  • sandbagged

    I had absolutely no problem getting my children to school today. Much of the complaining on this issue comes from teachers/administrators who choose to live 20, 30, 50, 75 miles outside of the city. Either move closer to work, or suck it up.

  • Diane Stathes

    Mayor, you should have closed the schools. You better hope no children suffer any problems traveling. Lets not forget teachers and other staff do not live in walking distance. We are warned to stay off the roads yet send children to school. Is it about safety or money Mr. Mayor. I don’t see you digging out my car on my un-plowed street. It’s 7:05 , do you know where your Mayor is?

  • neworleans4ever

    Oh, you think I should live in the city if I’m a teacher? I’d cut off my right arm to afford to live in Manhattan or Brooklyn and not get up at 5am for a 4-hour a day commute. Dumb ass.

    • Emily Ellen

      The Mayor did the right thing. It used to be that schools only rarely closed. Now, it seems they close them as soon as there’s a dusting on the ground. My kids need to be in school, especially a week before Regents! There’s nothing worse than school getting called off the night before and then waking up to find it’s perfectly fine to navigate the streets. Which it is!

    • sandbagged

      Let me fix that for you, neworleans4ever. You mean that you’d cut off your right arm to be able to afford to live in a section of Manhattan or Brooklyn where there are mostly white people, lovely homes, and great public schools, correct.

      There are many, many, many perfectly safe and lovely city neighborhoods that are affordable on a teacher’s salary.

  • Michael Bloomberg


  • Alan

    Has the Mayor ever heard of a delayed opening?

  • a.novaczech

    Let me kno how bloomberg feels when he’s dug out gracie mansion 4 times btn 9pm n 430am, then well talk..
    my mom is a nyc public schools administrator n my bf is nypd, we all live in westchester n will be diggin out AGAIN, for the 5th time early in the mornn to b ready to report for work … closing the skools will keep those who really don’t need to be off the dangerous roads so sanitation workers can plow n cops, ems n fire dept can do their jobs safely n quikly when needed..

  • Al Cinamon

    If schools are closed, the city loses money from the State. Money always trumps safety. That’s why it’s so hard for the mayor to make such a bid decision.

  • Out in Rockaway

    I’d be a lot more impressed by the mayor if he shoveled the walk around Gracie Mansion 3 times by 5 AM like I did around my house.

    • a.novaczech

      its 430 am n I hav dug my westchester driveway out 4 times. I have a mother who’s a nyc public schools administrator n has to b in bc its the “responsible” thing to do and a nypd boyfriend who it took 4 hours to get home bc bloomberg wuldnt pay for overtime aftr he offered to work a double shift thru the nite. As a masters student off frm skool for another week, the diggin out duty falls on me so the 2 civil servants in my house can be at work on time and not too sleep deprived.
      I totally agress that bloomberg shuld hav to dig out gravie mansion to make sure HE gets to work on time…

  • http://Comeonithasbeenthesameroutineforyearsandasaparentyoushouldhaveabackupplan.Mymomdidn'tgothroughthewhining.Shejustmadearrangements.Whowouldyoucallifyouweregoingonadate?Iammorethansureeveryonelive really!?!

    Come on it has been the same routine for years. They said it was gonna snow days ago a back up child care plan should of been establish by now…this is why we have neigbors…some would even do it for free! and some could even use the extra cash. So, there is no one to blame! Unless you are mad because YOU didn’t come up with plan! meet you neighbo

  • scs

    first off let me say that I agree that schools should be closed. if its bad enough to call a weather emergency it’s bad enough for schools to close.
    but on the note about just “getting a babysitter”, I work as a babysitter/nanny for 3 kids everyday in the after school hours, and it’s not that easy for parents. If the kids can’t get to school, and the parents call me, how am i supposed to get to them if i’m snowed in as well?
    luckily the parents i work for understand that my safety matters as well, but all of you saying for the parents to go get a sitter, obviously don’t realize that a “sitter” is a person too, who also would have to commute in this horrible weather.

    • The Good Samaritan

      why should they be closed so the kids can raise havoc at the malls

      The Good Samartian has spoken.

      • Zmm

        Not sure where you are, but us city kids don’t set foot into a mall save an occasion. Most of us will probably stay home overdoing video games or heading to the park for a snowball fight.

  • Cecilia W

    While most NYC grade school students usually live walking distance from their schools, many high school kids do not.
    My son and niece both would have to travel via bus on roads that won’t be safe.
    Additionally, many teachers and school administrators may not be able to travel safely as well. So it isn’t as simple as “throwing on snow boots” for these children and school staffers.
    Mr. Bloomberg, kindly make a decision already.

  • The Good Samaritan

    The mayor in a way does have a right to wait until 5am to announce if schools will be open or closed. What happens if it only snows an inch then its one day less the students have at school.

    On the negative side a parent will have to stay home from because they have to watch their child.

    Some bosses may then get mad if they stay and then may go and fire them.

    The Good Samaritan has spoken.

  • The Truth

    He should close obviously but I think the TEACHERS UNION has something to do with that. Its in their contract and it affects their days somehow. Money Bags should close. DUH its 6-18 inches!

    • chris

      No, my wife is a teacher and all that happens is that they work an extra day in summer.

  • Bruce

    it is becoming more and more clear that this mayor only cares about money, not the lives of people in this city.

  • mmastro

    Dear Ms Black and MR Bloomberg

    I am a single mom with three children. I dont have a nanny, I dont have a chauffer, I dont send my kids to boarding school, I dont have a stay at home job although I do have a job that I must get to , So why do I have to wait untill 5 am in the morning to find out weather the schools are open. Just like you, I too have responsibilites that must be met. Try getting in touch with the rest of us for a change. Oh wait, did I hear that theres a 311 number I can call that will send a car over to my house to pick up my kids and bring them to school since there is a weather emergency in effect that tells us to leave our cars parked.
    Come out of your penthouse and your mansion and look around you. wake up

  • Mega

    PEOPLE WE LIVE IN THE CITY!!! We don’t live in a rural area, where the roads can be impassable due to lack of snow plows!!! Everyone needs to buck up and get a grip on reality! Half of us don’t even drive in the city anyway. Everyone will understand if it takes a little longer to get to work/school tomorrow!!!! Put on some damn snow boots and SMILE!!! ITS SNOWING!!!

    • Mike

      Wrong, your said everyone will understand if you are late…that is NOT true. The mayor expects everyone who works for the city to be on time, no excuses. Well, not everyone is luck to have an understanding boss like you do. By the way, the mayor wants everyone OFF the roads. I guess we will just have to “beam” ourselves to work.

    • goobs


      Tell that to those 700 people on the A trains who were stranded in Dec with no heat for 9 hours. My kid would have to take that train to school today- so she’s not going.

    • Joseph


      We live in the city with millions of drivers and commuters, not empty roads and fields.

      It’s a lot more dangerous here than in the country.

  • fdas

    I fell enough last time I had to walk to school with a pile of snow. God knows what else I’ll break tomorrow, if school opens.

  • karma5230

    To new parents: This is nothing new. I have four kids. My oldest is now 23. and the youngest is 14. I have two kids in public high schools in NYC at the moment. And all 4 kids were raised in the city and went to city schools. I remember finding out the morning of that there was no school that day. It’s only in very rare occasions that they call a snow day the day before. You make contingency plans.

  • sam

    There should be a snow day because its snowing all day tomorrow. It would be hard for kids to travel around even after the MTA service changes. It will take time for the kids to get to school and get home. Please give them a snow day.

  • Art S.

    People. I’m a retired teacher. It’s all about money. The schools get money from the state every day a child is in school. No school? Well then no state aid for that day.

    • Mike

      It’s more than just the State money. He wants teachers to call in, not make whatever you like to call it. They will be docked pay.

  • Steven

    This mayor is horrible. I don’t understand why he can’t just close schools for one day. He is a greedy billionaire and he wont lost out for shutting things down for one day. I bet he is wondering why his popularity has slipped so much, because he makes horrible decisions. CLOSE THE SCHOOLS!! My college is impossible to get to in this weather, and I cannot take the bus in this weather.

    • a

      how did you get to college with that logic?

      • Mike

        Logic…what about this guys grammar. Steven, you need to go back to grade school.

  • JD

    Bloomberg shouldn’t have to make the decision. I already got the call at 7 PM that I had no school tomorrow. Each individual principal or someone else should make the decision for each individual school to close. I’m actually not sure who runs the schools in the city since I live on the island (LI), so… ^^’ I may be off

  • kenstee

    Why don’t Mike just close school and take them all to a Broadway matinee?

  • Jessica

    this is ridiculous Bloomberg should close NYC schools tomorrow and let us know today. either way if they don’t close, many kids aren’t going to attend school anyway. why don’t you save us the trouble and just close tomorrow. i have a long way to go and through the snow it’s going to be hard.

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