There’s ‘snow’ end to school?

03.23.17 | Bob Price

With all the snow days so far this year, some school districts are looking at ways to fit in the required 180 days and graduate seniors on time.

There was still plenty of snow on the tennis courts at the Wallenpaupack Area schools Wednesday, and plenty of days left in the school year thanks to nine snow days so far.

Last week, students near Hawley missed four days due to the blizzard, and the district will decide if seniors need to go to school at least one Saturday before graduating in mid-June.

"That would suck. It sucks going to school on a Friday. Going to school on a Saturday would suck even more," said senior Jasmyn Brown.

It's usually only a half day for seniors if they have to go on Saturday and it's been done before. Wallenpaupack Area Superintendent Mike Silsby tells Newswatch 16 the district always tells employees to be prepared. After all, this is northeastern Pennsylvania.

"We build them in. It's just how you do it. There were years we haven't used them all. We actually add to the vacations not taken away," said Silsby.

After the lengthy manhunt for Eric Frein in 2014 caused Wallenpaupack Area School District to miss days on top of snow days, a lawmaker from the area proposed a bill that passed. It allows some school districts to apply for a waiver citing unforeseen circumstances, and if they qualify, they don't have to meet that 180 day requirement.

Governor Wolf is now giving schools in our area that chance. Each district will have to qualify, but as school leaders put it, it's a philosophical question; whether to hold school late into June or opt for a shorter year.

"Does the school board, community, and administration want to have something less than 180 days or do we want to fulfill that obligation," said Silsby.

Whether the school board wants to go fewer than 180 days or have seniors go Saturdays is yet to be seen.

"I'm very happy about that. I do not want to come in. It would only be for a few hours. They would feed us, wouldn't be that bad," said senior Molloy Jacobs.

Winter storm emergency declarations for schools cover the following counties in our area:

  • Bradford
  • Carbon
  • Columbia
  • Lackawanna
  • Luzerne
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Schuylkill
  • Sullivan
  • Susquehanna
  • Wayne
  • Wyoming