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How Will Centennial Closings Affect School Calendar?

With four unexpected days off from school before the arrival of winter weather, Centennial officials are mindful of what the effects will be on the rest of the school year.

After four days of weathering Hurricane Sandy and working to restore power in the aftermath, Centennial schools were back in session Friday morning. (The only exception was Klinger Middle School, which experienced more electrical problems late Thursday night and was forced to remain closed.)

As the students get back to the daily grind after a brief and unexpected respite, administrators are looking at what effect the four-day interruption will have on the school calendar. Pennsylvania statutes require public schools to complete 180 days of instruction before July 1.

According to Centennial's 2012-2013 calendar, June 20, 2013 is marked as the final day of class for students. Superintendant Dr. Jenny Cressman stated in e-mailed comments that with winter still weeks away, it is too early to project what the last day of school will be. 

"We will evaluate and adjust the calendar as the year progresses with plenty of notice to our families," she wrote.

According to the state statutes, waivers can be granted to the 180-day requirement depending on the emergency. A two-part test is considered in granting the waiver: 1) Did the emergency cause all the schools in the district to be canceled, and 2.) Will the schools be able to make up all the days by June 30?

However, the policy states that closures caused by extreme weather conditions are not considered an emergency for granting a waiver, a fact reinforced by e-mailed comments from department spokesperson Tim Eller to Patch.

"Schools are expected to meet the 180-day requirement by June 30, 2013," Eller wrote.

Eller also wrote that waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis. A spokesperson with Centennial School District said that superintendents from school districts throughout Bucks County are planning to collectively request a waiver for the days missed because of Hurricane Sandy.

captwins November 02, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Is there a rule against classes being held on Saturday? If I missed that much time during the week, we'd make it up on the weekend.
Met November 02, 2012 at 08:17 PM
How about cancelling all those in-service teacher days. They should be done in the summer or after school hours. Children should not be off for those days.
Emily Cohen November 02, 2012 at 10:02 PM
More than likely, just as the students need to complete their required days by a certain date, the same holds true for teachers. They likely have a minimum number of days to fit in (more than students), typically also by June 30. Philadelphia School District was successful in getting a waiver of some days a couple of years ago, due to a state of emergency being declared. I would expect the Bucks districts will be successful in their request, given the extenuating circumstances.
Positive Thinker November 03, 2012 at 03:17 AM
What a great idea. It makes a lot of scense. The move just before the national testing is what they need to avoid, considering the disruption could distract the students from the testing. This is not a distraction they need considering they need to increase their test scores.
Mom of boys November 03, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Agreed!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom of boys November 03, 2012 at 11:13 PM
The move to the new school should wait until summer!!!!!!! The kids have had so much major change already. If they think test scores were low in the past wait to see this year with all the things in flux!

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