The school year for students just got a little longer, thanks to more inclement weather than planned.
Armstrong School District Superintendent Chris DiVivo explained the process.
“We have had a lot of the revisions for this year. We ran out of snow days. We had four built in, but we ended up having 7, so we’re just tacking the days onto the end of the year.”
The last day for students will be June 12.
“We actually vetted the process pretty thoroughly and looked for opportunities to make up days along the way so that we could keep graduation date the same. But, in a year when school starts after Labor Day, we had no flexibility. So this was really our only option,” DiVivo said.
He said that there were not any additional snow days built into next year’s school calendar.
“We still built in just four. We didn’t add anymore. We start before Labor Day, so we will have more flexibility along the way.”
DiVivo said the school board has looked at various alternatives and had multiple discussions with administrators on the best way to handle additional snow days.
One method would be to build all of the snow days into days at the end of the year.
“It could be done, but if you just build a tight schedule, then it’s just understood that there’s a snow day. But we like the opportunity, which we don’t have in western Pennsylvania very often, to have an Easter Break. That’s what we hope for, but we never seem to get it.”
Under state law, schools are required to supply a minimum of 180 days of instruction.
This year, ASD has had multiple issues that have impacted the school calendar. West Shamokin High School delayed opening by five days last fall when mold was found in the school. The Pennsylvania Department of Education approved waiving the make-up of three of those days, but the other two days were broken down into instructional minutes and made up in the general schedule, and by eliminating a day off on January 21.