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School closures have exceeded Franklin Regional's built-in 'snow days'

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Winter weather — the most recent being a snow storm followed by an ice storm followed by a snowstorm — is causing a logistical nightmare at Franklin Regional School District.

After cancelling classes for the fifth time this school year on Feb. 18, Superintendent Jamie Piraino said the district is running short on options to make up the canceled classes. Piraino said officials likely won't decide on dates for make-up days until April.

Each year, the district plans at least four “snow days” in the calendar. Most of those are included in the district's spring break.

Already, three of five days — April 16, 17 and 22 — that were scheduled for spring break have been revised to be school days. So has March 21, which was another day originally with no classes scheduled.

There wasn't a firm plan for a fifth make-up day, Piraino said. Historically, additional days have been made up at the end of the school year.

Although a recent middle school newsletter indicated that school would be in session on June 9, that isn't written in stone, Piraino said. He said expects to have a recommendation to how the days will be dealt with in March or April, once winter weather has subsided.

Franklin Regional students are scheduled for 183 days of class this school year. The state requires students to attend class for at least 180 days. Piraino said the teachers' contract dictates a 183-day school year and eight additional professional days.

Piraino said officials will weigh options during the next several weeks.

“There aren't many options,” he said. “We just need to wait and see.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627.

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