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Like snow, Penn-Trafford make-up days are piling up

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By Chris Foreman
Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Penn-Trafford officials are considering parking alternatives for graduation to reduce the vehicles that might need to use Penn Township Municipal Park, but if winter weather continues to force school cancellations, graduation might not occur on the same night as the large, annual softball tournament that takes place in the park.

School district and Penn Township officials are concerned because the same two events overlapped last year and caused traffic headaches on a busy Friday night of the Memorial Day weekend.

But the cancellation of classes on Monday because of snow — the fourth closing this school year — means that another makeup day has to be scheduled. The next makeup date available on the school calendar is May 27, four days after commencement is supposed to happen.

So far, district officials haven't been willing to budge on the graduation date. But the last six weeks of winter could bring more changes to the school calendar.

“Who knows how that's going to play a part, so we're going to keep monitoring the weather and keeping hoping for a brighter tomorrow,” interim Superintendent Matt Harris said.

Administrators tentatively are planning to offer shuttles to the high school from satellite sites, like churches, but decided not to ask students to park off-site, Harris said.

Wheelchair ramp

Two Penn-Trafford graduates are collaborating to build a wheelchair ramp near the student section at Warrior Stadium so students with special needs can sit near their classmates.

Athletic Director Kerry Hetrick said the project is organized by Gary Proskin and Scott Coy, both of whom own businesses in the region. Proskin runs a concrete company that will complete the construction.

Hetrick said the men were inspired to build the ramp when they saw that a student using a wheelchair last fall was unable to join his peers in the section.

Interim Superintendent Matt Harris said the project's estimated value is $15,000, but won't cost the district anything.

“These two people are just wonderful at giving back to their community,” school board President Toni Ising said.


Board members said they discussed an administrative contract as part of an executive session before their meeting, but they didn't announce any changes to interim Superintendent Matt Harris's status.

Technically, Harris's six-month appointment expired on Monday, but board members usually don't vote on any matters during their information meeting. The monthly voting meeting is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. in the high school.

Ising has said board members are reviewing changes to state law regarding superintendent contracts as they decide whether to extend the temporary appointment or consider offering him the position permanently.

‘P-T's Got Talent'

The Penn-Trafford Community Education Foundation's “P-T's Got Talent” fundraiser on Jan. 18 netted about $7,500 that will be dispersed to teachers and school groups through grants over the next year, board member Phil Kochasic said.

Much of the money accumulated when attendees dropped money into individualized jars as support for their favorite contestants.

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