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Westmoreland

Norwin plans snow makeup days, 2018-19 calendar

Joe Napsha
| Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 9:30 p.m.

Norwin students who might have enjoyed the three days of school they missed because of the winter weather will start making up those days beginning Friday, then again March 29; and finally April 3, school officials said Monday.

If Norwin would have to cancel a fourth day of classes because of inclement weather, students would attend school April 2, and a fifth snow day would mean school would be open May 11, Superintendent William Kerr said at the board's workshop session this week.

The changes in the school calendar, with future snow days designated, are likely to be approved when the board holds its monthly meeting on Feb. 18.

Kerr said the decision to cancel classes because of inclement weather is based on discussions with the public works departments in North Huntingdon and Irwin, and the district's transportation carrier, First Student, which also provides busing for neighboring school districts.

“It's not always scientific ... We always look at safety,” Kerr said.

The superintendent reminded parents to check the district website or television stations for news of a two-hour delay or school cancellation. The district doesn't want students waiting a long time for a bus when there is a two-hour delay, he said.

Kerr acknowledged that in cases of a two-hour delay called because of bitter cold temperatures in the morning, there is often little difference in temperatures at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

In reviewing the school calendar for the 2018-19 school year, Kerr recommended, and board members concurred, that classes should start Monday, Aug. 20, with a full first week of instruction.

Kerr said he believes that by mid-August, students are excited about returning to school.

In the coming school year, students would be off Christmas week and return Wednesday, Jan. 2. Under that proposed school calendar, the last day of classes would be May 24, 2019.

Another option had classes begin later in August and finish after Memorial Day 2019.

Kerr said he has found that if students return to class after Memorial Day, “not much gets done” and it tends to be “nonproductive.”

“To come back after Memorial Day is not educationally sound,” said Timothy Kotch, assistant superintendent of secondary education.

The board is scheduled to vote on the upcoming school year calendar Feb. 18.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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