- Heart of Lancaster craft show is Labor Day weekend at Root’s
- Escape Room: real life fun, in a world ruled by virtual games
- Florence Foster Jenkins: the Moravian connection
- Local artists will display works at Gretna show
- Cub Scout Pack 44 welcomes kindergartners in new pilot program
- New book a ‘sign’ of hope for local author
- 50 years of art: Lititz Outdoor Fine Art Show set for July 30
- Police departments plan community events
- The ‘Great Eastern Wizard’ of the Park House hotel
- Manheim woodworker crafts bodies for Martin Guitar
Weather adds length to school year; district’s options are limited
With snow and ice storms piling up school delays and cancellations, officials are seeking inventive ways to maintain a workable school calendar.
The 2013-14 school schedule, hammered out last summer by Warwick School District administrators, is in shambles.
Dr. April Hershey, superintendent, said the district is counting on guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, which has the final word on what public schools can and cannot do.
“We, along with every other school district affected by this weather, are discussing ways to shorten the calendar by evaluating what tools we have available with the PA Department of Education,” Hershey said Tuesday.
Currently, schools are grappling with a mandate requiring students to attend school 180 days. But other states have issued waivers allowing districts to have a 176-day school year .
Those districts added eight minutes per day and four days of professional development.
Hershey said it’s unlikely to happen here though.
“This would take an act of state legislature,” she said. “I do not see it happening.”
Warwick, Ephrata, Cocalico, Elanco, Manheim, and other area districts once again were delayed two hours Tuesday due to snow.
Warwick has a total of seven days to make-up.
Mother Nature’s havoc has even affected Warwick’s rescheduling efforts. A snow make-up day scheduled for Friday (Feb. 14) was one of two days built into the 2013-2014 school calendar.
But school on Valentine’s Day was canceled due to more snow, forcing that day to be tacked onto the end of the year.
The other snow day already built into Warwick’s calendar is March 7.
Students also stayed home on Monday, President’s Day – that is negotiated in the teachers’ contract – to make a four-day weekend.
Warwick’s graduation date is traditionally planned after the winter storm season.
“Warwick’s graduation date is always chosen and voted on by the board in March,” Hershey said. “That will happen as it always does next month after the bulk of winter has passed. Our (graduation) venue is confirmed at Calvary Church, where we have graduated for the last four years.”
Warwick’s calendar is trickier than other school districts because it doesn’t start before Labor Day – this is also specified in the teachers’ contract. The original end-date for 2014 was scheduled for June 11. At the moment, the last scheduled day for students is Thursday, June 19. The last day for kindergartners is currently set for Wednesday, June 18.
“If we should have any more snow days, they would continue to be added onto the end of our school calendar,” Hershey said.
Hershey pointed out the remaining holidays and in-service days in the calendar cannot be used as snow make-up days. The district website offers a brief explanation as to why other off-days cannot be used for snow make-ups:
The teachers’ contract designates the following days as non-work days:
Monday, Feb. 17, President’s Day
Friday, April 18, Good Friday
Monday, April 21, Easter Monday
Monday, May 26, Memorial Day
The March 31 teacher in-service day is an “Act 80 Day” and counts as a day of student attendance. Since this is used for specific in-service purposes, it cannot be used as snow make-up, as it already counts as a student day.
On a bright note, Hershey said the Department of Education has lengthened the PSSA testing window, allowing Warwick to move back some of its “high stakes testing.”
“This will allow us to maximize instructional time that has been lost due to weather prior to the tests,” she explained.
She said Warwick will provide more information on testing schedules to parents when specific dates are set.
“Any potential for changes we make would be communicated in March through board action,” she said.
Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 721-4455.
Masquerade Party: A Venture Lititz Fundraiser
Saturday, Oct. 15 Save that date and plan to attend...
Never. Lose. Hope.
Drug addiction is everyone’s problem. The nationwide epidemic is well...
- Posted March 17, 2016
Cheers to another great Beer Fest
East Main Street was packed with people by the time...
Lititz Craft Beer Fest: The beers
You have to be dedicated to try every beer at...
New Wilbur store to open in time for Chocolate Walk
Officials say the new Wilbur Chocolate retail store and museum...
Lititz’s short-lived entertainment venue
March of 1911 proved to be an important month for...
Ten years later: Remembering the Nickel Mines Amish school massacre
On Monday, Oct. 2, 2006, I stood inside the West...
They’re having a ball!
Saturday, Oct. 15: Save that date and plan to attend...
Beth’s Story: Commentary on an epidemic that hits close to home
“Beth’s Story” is the first in a five-part monthly...
- February 18, 2016
Ronald Lee Sandhaus, 69, popular Lititz police officer, HAM radio enthusiast
Ronald Lee Sandhaus, 69, 533 Spring Avenue, Lititz, passed...
- July 23, 2014