Extreme weather piles up make-up days for Connellsville Area, Frasier, Mt. Pleasant Area districts
By Karl Polacek
Published: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, 1:11 a.m.
The extreme cold and snow that forced area districts to cancel classes several times are playing havoc with school calendars.
Many districts had built extra off-days into their calendars, but those days have been used. The next step is to extend the school year into June.
Connellsville Area Superintendent Dan Lujetic said the extra makeup days built into the district's 2013-14 school calendar have been used. The probability of more bad weather, however, means the district won't modify the calendar until it is known how many more days must be made up.
Lujetic said he hopes to have a more concrete plan by March.
Frazier School District plans to tack on the extra days to the end of the school year, according to Doreen Smith, administrative assistant to Superintendent David Blozowich.
“We're wishing to see daffodils and tulips (for the rest of winter),” she said.
Frazier took two Easter vacation days — April 17 and April 21 — and added two more to the end of the school year. Smith said the last day of classes is June 6.
Smith said classes affected because of delays were rotated so students were able to attend all of their classes.
Mt. Pleasant Area School District Superintendent Timothy Gabauer said the district lost 10 days. He said a plan will be submitted to the school board in March for revisions.
The district has used a makeup day in January and one in February. It will use up the three days of Easter vacation in April.
“Right now, the students' last day will be Wednesday June 4,” Gabauer said. “And there are a couple of Act 80 (teacher in-service) days plugged in.”
He said the last day for teachers will be June 10. Graduation has been pushed back to June 8.
Southmoreland School District lost nine days — eight for snow and one for a power outage. The school board approved a new schedule that lists the last day of instruction as June 1.
Superintendent John Molnar will submit a new schedule during the March meeting.
As of Feb. 18, the district's tentative schedule called for the last day of instruction on June 3 and that June 4 will be designated an Act 80 day. In-service days will be June 5, 6, and 9. June 10 will be classified as a clerical day.
What remains in the air is a date for graduation, which originally was scheduled for May 30. Molnar said he is exploring whether he can use Saturdays as possible days for seniors to have graduation practice.
Any additional time-off days would be approved by the board.
“It will be voted on in the near future,” Molnar said. “There's no other options left at this point.”
Paul Paterra contributed to this report. Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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