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School Districts in Snow Daze

School districts in our area are adjusting schedules for the rest of the year after using up several snow days this season. One way to make up time is by yankin...
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School districts in our area are adjusting schedules for the rest of the year after using up several snow days this season.

One way to make up time is by yanking days around holidays.

Another, is to push back the end of the school year.

Wallenpaupack Area School District was closed Monday, making it eight snow days already this year and it’s only early February.

Even though this is northeastern Pennsylvania and we’re used to bad weather forcing school to close, it still complicates things for everyone.

The buses were in motion at the end of another school day in the Wallenpaupack Area School District. But for eight days this year so far, the buses sat when the snow hit.

“When you have over 20 days of disruption, either with early dismissal, late starts or actual school closings, it makes it very difficult to get a flow with the students in education,” said Superintendent Michael Silsby.

The district already extended the school year once after the school was closed for three days during the manhunt for Eric Frein, said Silsby.

The district expects it won’t have to make up those days but the eight snow days are another story.

“There`s been quite a few already, guess the weather isn’t cooperating,” said Andrew Brower of Tafton.

In Wallenpaupack’s case, only so many make-up days are built into the year. They’ve all been used, so after they’re gone:

“Either have to add additional days at the end of the school year, go into the next week in June, or look at starting to take away some of the vacations,” added Silsby.

The superintendent at Wayne Highlands School District said this is NEPA, and the district expects to have snow days. They don`t even build them into the school year, they just tack them onto the end of the year. At this point, they’re up to nine days so far.

So instead of a late May graduation at Honesdale High School, district officials and, let’s be honest, Mother Nature is pushing that back to early June.

“Guess it makes the school year longer. But it’s fun when you have them. Tired of it after a while,” said Brendan Vanderhoof of Hawley.

There’s a bill in Harrisburg that would give school districts other ways to complete the school year, instead of a strict 180 day requirement.

Its sponsor, State Representative Michael Peifer, said the bill would apply to emergencies like disease outbreaks, weather and security like we saw back in the fall during that massive manhunt.