The Vestal Central School District has announced it will be conducting an early dismissal drill on Thursday, October 7, 2021. Parents should know this is only a test run, not because of a real emergency.

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Any student who attends the Vestal Central School District, as well as those students who ride Vestal buses to nonpublic schools, will be dismissed 15 minutes early from school on Thursday, October 7, 2021. The school district is alerting parents ahead of time so there will be no confusion and so that parents are aware that if their child(ren) rides the bus, they will be dropped off 15 minutes earlier than they normally are.

Any parent who has a child who walks to school is picked up from school, or who attends after-school care programs will also need to make arrangements for their child to be picked up early. However, the school district says that the emergency evacuation drill will not affect the late bus runs from Vestal Middle School and Vestal High School.

This emergency evacuation drill should not be cause for alarm- it is something the Vestal Central School District conducts annually in compliance with regulations issued by the New York State Education Department.

The New York State Education Department requires school districts to conduct such drills in order to be sure that should a serious emergency arise, students can be evacuated quickly and safely. Director of Special Services, Thomas E. Comerford III, at tecomerford@vestal.k12.ny.us.

On Wednesday, September 29, some parents of children who attend Vestal Hills Elementary School saw their children off on their assigned school bus and went about their morning only to receive a notice a short time that carbon monoxide had been detected inside the school building (later determined to be a false alarm).

The school district decided to close the school and subsequently, students were sent home. However, some parents had already begun their workday and weren't able to return to the bus stop to retrieve their children. Those children were sent to African Road Elementary where they were watched in the school auditorium until parents were able to retrieve them.

If you are a parent or guardian and have a question or a concern regarding the Vestal School District emergency evacuation drill, you can reach out to Vestal School District Director of Special Services, Thomas Comerford at tecomerford@vestal.k12.ny.us.

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