Nor'easter forces early dismissal at Hudson Valley schools; Thursday up in the air
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Schools throughout the Hudson Valley either dismissed students early or canceled all afternoon activities and sports practices Wednesday as a nor'easter began to deliver snow, rain and wind to the region.
In Ulster, most districts ordered early dismissal. Among those districts that sent students home early were Kingston, Highland, Marlboro, New Paltz, Onteora and Saugerties.
Throughout Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Dutchess counties -- where many students had just returned to class after Hurricane Sandy -- the nor'easter mostly affected after-school activities.
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The Newburgh Enlarged School District in Orange County was one system in Orange that opted for a half day.
Also closing early were schools in the Ellenville district in Dutchess County.
In Poughkeepsie, some activities and sporting events that would run into the evening were canceled as a precaution, even though no snow or rain had fallen as of midafternoon, said Superintendent Laval Wilson.
Although the nor'easter is expected to linger for a day, Wilson and other district officials said it was still too early to decide whether the storm will result in school closures on Thursday.
Many considerations go into deciding whether to shut the district, Wilson said, including how windy it is and how wet or snowy the roads are. He said he usually makes the decision at about 4:30 a.m., when he can see how much snow has fallen.
But, he added, "If the snow falls tonight and I know it's very heavy and its 3 or 4 inches, I would make the decision tonight."
Staff contacted at other districts also said decisions about school closures are usually made early in the morning, just hours before school starts.
Here is the list of school closures