Snow days may push Allegheny Valley graduation ahead
By Michael Aubele
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010
Allegheny Valley School District directors likely will push this year's high school graduation ceremony into the second week of June in order to make up snow days.
While they said they will explore different possibilities over the next couple of weeks, directors indicated they have few options.
"We may have to extend graduation by a day or two into the next week, simply because we have no alternatives," board President Scott Redman said.
Graduation is slated for June 4.
Students have missed five days because of heavy snowfall. Redman said two could be made up during spring break — April 2 and 5. A third could be made up March 19, which was dedicated to staff development.
The prospect of delaying graduation doesn't sit well with many high school seniors. More than 30 of them attended last night's board meeting to voice concerns.
Cayley Perrett, 17, of Harmar told the board that many families already booked banquet halls for graduation parties.
She also said many seniors have out-of-town relatives with set travel arrangements for graduation weekend.
Redman said directors will do their best to make the calendar changes as soon as possible so that families can adjust plans.
He also cautioned that more days could be missed because of winter storms. If that happens, he said, any effort to avoid delaying graduation "becomes moot."
Joseph Ober, 18, of Springdale asked directors if holding weekend classes would be possible. He noted that area colleges and universities will be holding Saturday classes to make up days missed last week.
Redman said holding school on a Saturday would be an outside possibility — one that would need approval from the state Department of Education.
Leslie Sosovicka, 18, of Springdale asked if the state could waive the missed days because of the state of emergency declared by Gov. Ed Rendell.
District officials said there's little chance the governor or state Secretary of Education Gerald Zahorchak would offer the district special dispensation.
Superintendent Cheryl Griffith said districts must prove to the state they were forced to cancel classes for reasons such as lack of power or because schools were used as community shelters.
"We've had no extraordinary circumstances," she said.
For that reason, district officials probably won't petition the state for a waiver, Griffith said.
Redman, meantime, said he expects the board to vote on the calendar changes during the first committee meeting in March.
He also said directors are discussing options for building snow days into next year's school calendar.Additional Information:
Who: Allegheny Valley School Board
What: Decision on when to make up five snow days
When: 6 p.m. March 2
Where: Rachel Carson Room, Springdale Junior-Senior High School, Butler Street, Springdale
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.