New Rochelle streets were covered in black ice on Tuesday

New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Livid After Teachers Revolt Over Failure to Delay School Opening on Tuesday

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne was deeply angered Tuesday after receiving complaints from school teachers about his decision to open schools on time when every other district in Lower Westchester was on a “delayed opening”, according to sources at City Hall.

Osborne was already under fire from parents and board members who questioned his decision-making when he received a letter from FUSE President Marty Daly.

Daly described FUSE Members feeling “outrage” that Osborne failed to “insure the safe travel of students and staff members” and called out for Osborne for making a  poor decision.

“It was a mistake not to call for a delayed opening,” wrote Daly in a letter to the Superintendent which is copied to members of the New Rochelle Board of Education.

Daly encouraged teachers and staff to go around Osborne and lobby school board members directly.

“I encourage any of you who are residents of New Rochelle to share your feelings about the lack of a delayed opening and the safety issues that caused with the Board members if you have that opportunity,” wrote Daly.

Talk of the Sound obtained a copy of the letter that sent Osborne into a tizzy.

Superintendent of Schools

Citv School District of New Rochelle

Dear Brian:

I am at a loss to as to how to explain to the members of the New Rochelle FUSE why our school district was conspicuous by its absence from the list of school districts that had a delay opening on Tuesday, February 3rd due to dangerous driving conditions as a result of Monday’s snow storm.

Scarsdale, Port Chester, Eastchester, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Pelham, Mamaroneck all were on a “delayed opening” schedule. How could it be that the road conditions in New Rochelle were in such better condition that our students and staff should be traveling to school on icy, treacherous, sidewalks and roads? It was a mistake not to call for a delayed opening.

Rather than going on expressing my disappointment and frustration with the fact that every district save New Rochelle was operating on a delayed opening to insure the safe travel of students and staff members, allow me to share with you some of the many comments that I received in emails from members on Tuesday.

“Valid questions are: does the superintendent make this call entirely on his own or does he consult with buildings and grounds to see if they feel the buildings are reads? Also, does he speak with neighboring superintendents see what their thinking is? An hour delay would have made travel much safer for the staff since people who live any distance away would have been able to leave their houses when the sun was up thus enabling them to see the icy patches on the highway. There are just a few of the comments that I heard this morning, os it would be nice to see if he responds to the staff.”

— Teacher at Ward School

“New Rochelle was the only lower Westchester district not to have had a two-hour delay yesterday morning. With the ice and snow clearing (or lack thereof) in Trinity’s surrounding public streets, yesterday’s normal start time made for a particularly hazardous school arrival for our students, in particular, many of whom walk to school. We respectfully request that Dr. Osborne take into account the safety of all out students for the next severe weather morning when he considered whether or not a delay is necessary”

— Teacher at Trinity School

“Streets by use are not plowed, or aren’t plowed well. This creates unsafe streets for driving and for children crossing streets or exiting cars to get into school.”

— Teacher at Columbus School

“I have to tell you it was an absolute disgrace this morning to get my children to the high school and myself up to Davis. The roads are slippery and driving was dangerous. At Davis, I pulled in about 7:45 only to find the plow where we part and where the buses pull in was being plowed at that particular time. There had been no salt truck through, not enough room for the buses to get through because the plow had just started plowing, some teachers were slipping trying to come into the building. When does this new administration realize that coming in on time (when all of the surrounding school districts had a delay) was just not safe FOR ANYONE.”

— Teacher At Davis

“Safety, is obviously number one. How can it be that every surrounding community opened on a two hour delay except us? The buildings were not yet cleared or ready for us; the sander truck came through our circle at about 8:15 – 8:20 – people were slipping all over the place entering the building. It was absolutely absurd.”

— Teacher At Davis

Daly went on to note that after years of complaints, he was troubled that after the Board finally adopted a policy to allow for delayed openings due to inclement weather more than two years ago, it was not being used.

“It is frustrating to see, having finally gotten a policy on delayed openings, that on a day that clearly merited a “delayed opening” to insure safe travel for our students and staff, none was called.” wrote Daly.

Daly continued.

“I strongly urge you to use the option of a delayed opening, particularly when every news outlet is reminding viewers and readers that roads are dangerous and a travel advisory has been declared. The City School District of New Rochelle has many distinctions of which we are rightfully proud, however, being the only school in the region that asks its students and staff members to travel in unsafe conditions is not one of them.”