New Castle News

TOP STORIES

February 6, 2014

Snow days disrupting school calendar

NEW CASTLE — Mother Nature and Old Man Winter are toying with the school calendar.

The New Castle district canceled classes again Wednesday because of the impending snow and ice storm that hit the area.

Single-digit and sub-zero temperatures, along with snow and ice, have prompted the district to cancel five days so far this school year.

District officials now want Old Man Winter to go away. They are worrying that any more cancellations could push back graduation in June, and there still is more than a month of the season to go.

The district has maxed out on days it could use as snow makeup days, superintendent John J. Sarandrea told the school board Monday.

He said it’s been many years in Pennsylvania that one school year has had even four snow days.

So far, five days have to be made up, he noted, when typically, two or three makeup days are factored into the original school calendar.

“We’re at the point where we’ll be tacking days on to the end of the school year,” Sarandrea said.

In an email Wednesday, he noted that is “not a problem yet, but any more days will make it an issue.”

The district then will be faced with the problem of getting enough instructional hours in for seniors, and therefore, moving the graduation date.

If classes need to be scheduled on June 9, 10 and 11, the district would be unable to have commencement June 6 as scheduled, because it would lose the state subsidy for the seniors on those days.

The district cannot use Presidents Day, Feb. 17, as a makeup day because custodians have a holiday and would have to be paid time-and-a-half if they have to go to work, Sarandrea said.

“Easter break has now been decimated,” he added. The district has scheduled snow makeup days for Holy Thursday and Monday after Easter during Easter break, leaving Good Friday as the only day off school, he said, and June 6 also will be a makeup day.

While rescheduling might interfere with some people’s vacation plans, Sarandrea warned teachers they cannot use sick days to go on vacation, and if he finds out, they will be in trouble.

“Saying you’re ill on a day when you’re not is a bad thing.”

He pointed out Feb. 18 will be designated as a makeup day for a Hurricane Tuesday — a teacher growth day — that was missed when school was canceled Jan. 28.

Sarandrea said the district decided to cancel school Wednesday after he participated in a webinar and conference call with the National Weather Service and viewed updated snow and ice forecast maps.

Typically, area superintendents start discussions about school cancellations or delays a day or two before predicted weather issues, he said.

“Since we are all different, we all have different concerns.”

All the schools try to decide together, he said, but there are times New Castle decides differently because it has a lot of students who walk to school. As a result, sidewalk conditions and cold temperatures are considered along with road conditions, he added.

Student safety takes priority over everything, Sarandrea emphasized, and inconveniences are addressed later.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.

     
     

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results