School districts begin to change calendars because of snow days

Some districts altering days immediately, others taking a wait-and-see approach

TAYLOR, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - School districts across northeastern and central Pennsylvania went back to class Monday, many for the first time in almost a week.

The Blizzard of 2017 had many districts shut down four days last week and that is definitely impacting school calendars.

Because of a recent change in state law, the superintendent of one Lackawanna County school district is taking a "wait and see" approach.

After the manhunt for Eric Frein in the Poconos, state lawmakers gave the Pennsylvania Department of Education some leniency to waive make-up days given severe weather or public safety emergencies.

The big question now is: will last week's blizzard qualify?

For the first time since last Monday, students in the Riverside School District are now back in class.

Superintendent Paul Brennan says having four snow days in a row took its toll on everyone.

"It's like riding a bike. Once you get on, you're back into the swing of things," Brennan said.

Brennan says he's gotten a lot of calls from parents about what last week's weather will mean for the Riverside school calendar.

Right now, he's waiting for guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

State lawmakers recently authorized the PA Secretary of Education to provide waivers in some emergency weather situations.

Brennan doesn't want to change anything until he hears if the Blizzard of 2017 will qualify.

"Anticipation is out there to have an answer immediately but we don't want to alter things multiple times so we're going to wait a few days to hear from the state and the Department of Education and then we'll go from there," Brennan said.

Other districts aren't waiting.

In neighboring Old Forge, administrators say they had only used two snow days all winter before the four snow days last week.

As a result, the Old Forge School superintendent already plans to take back three scheduled "off days" in April and May and will extend the last day of school until June 12th.

"This storm, I think, caught everyone by surprise. I thought it was a big problem for our municipalities and our districts," Old Forge superintendent John Rushefski said.

The superintendent of the Scranton School District plans to release a revised school calendar for her district on Friday morning.

The North Pocono superintendent isn't waiting that long. Because of the increasing number of snow days, on Monday, he pushed his district's calendar back an entire week. The last day of school and graduation day in North Pocono will now be Friday, June 16th.

 

 


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