Snow days prompt New Kensington-Arnold to shorten spring break, extend school year
Given the choice of cutting spring break or extending the school year to make up for snow days, New Kensington-Arnold School Board did a little of both.
With students already missing classes for four days this year, the board had limited options with time running short on the calendar.
“Because we have had so many snow days, we are either going to lose all of our spring or Easter break or we’ll have to add four days to the end of the year,” board President Bob Pallone said.
Eliminating all four days of spring break coinciding with the Easter holiday in April would mean that students would be in class April 17 to 19 and April 22. That would include the Christian religious observance of Good Friday.
The second option, extending the school year by four days, meant instead of graduation and school ending May 30, classes would remain in session through June 5.
Pallone said a third option would be to use both of the first two options, taking two days from spring break and adding two days to the end of the year.
In the end, the board opted for the third option as the best choice.
That means classes will be in session April 17 and 18, which were part of spring break, and students and faculty will be off April 19 (Good Friday) and April 22.
As for the end of the year, instead of the last day of school and graduation being May 30, they now will be June 3.
Superintendent John Pallone said with all of March still to come, there could be more weather-related cancellations. He said if that happens, instead of students being off on Election Day, which is May 21, they would be in class.
Meanwhile, the board also approved the 2019–2020 school calendar.
The first day of the upcoming school year will be Aug. 23. Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 28 and 29 and Dec. 2.
Christmas break will begin Dec. 24 and extend through Jan. 1. Spring break will run from April 8 through April 13. Once again, if weather forces students to be out of school, three of the make-up days would come from spring break, if needed.
The final day of school will be June 5 and graduation will be the same day.