School snow days likely won't melt away
By Jessica Turnbull
Published: Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010
It's become the snow day with no end for Alle-Kiski Valley schools.
As of 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, 14 of the Valley's 15 school districts had announced school closing today, and Armstrong had already announced there will be no school on Friday.
Riverview School District announced a two-hour delay.
Cancelling classes today were: Allegheny Valley, Apollo-Ridge, Armstrong, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Fox Chapel Area, Franklin Regional, Freeport Area, Highlands, Kiski Area, Leechburg Area, New Kensington-Arnold, Plum and South Butler.
Lenape Technical School and Northern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center are also closed today.
Today is the fifth snow day for most area school districts, many of which are hoping that the Pennsylvania Department of Education will waive the snow days because the area is in a state of emergency declared by Gov. Ed Rendell.
Districts want the requirement of having 180 class days by June 30 waived by the state education secretary, who will receive requests from districts and make case-by-case decisions, said Michael Race, Education Department spokesman.
School districts that hold classes on fewer days can be docked money from the state, Race said.
A waiver would make life easier for district administrators who are busy rearranging the calendar.
Allegheny Valley School District students will attend classes a little longer this school year, said district spokeswoman Jan Zastawniak.
"Our snow days are added to the end of the year," Zastawniak said.
Deer Lakes School District also will add days to the end of the school year, but students are supposed to make up a day on Monday, originally scheduled as a day off for President's Day, said spokeswoman Kathy Makuta.
Fox Chapel Area School District will have make-up days at the end of the school year, said spokeswoman Bonnie Berzonski.
Armstrong School District has snow make-up days in late March and early April.
"We have them built into the calendar," district spokesman Jon Szish said.
Kiski Area Superintendent John Meighan said an early January cancellation was already made up by moving a teacher and staff development date, he said.
Monday's snow day will be made up by having classes this coming Monday, Presidents Day.
Tuesday and yesterday will likely be made up the week after Easter by having students report back to school Thursday, April 8, he said.
Any more subsequent snow days will also be made up the week after Easter, Meighan said.
"It's Western Pennsylvania," he said. "You plan for these types of things."
Leechburg Area School Board Secretary Patti Camp said the district already used all four of its built-in snow days. Make-up for today's cancellation, the district's fifth, will have to be decided.
A Jan. 8 closure will be made up April 6, with the four snow days this week to be determined later.
Staff writers Michael Aubele and Brian Rittmeyer contributed to this report.
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.