School district reacts to bill that could do away with snow days

Local News

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (WTAJ)– A bill passed in the State House would allow schools to give students assignments when school has to close.

Schools would be given five flexible instruction days that could be used instead of snow days, or if the school has to close for any other reason.

Schools would have to apply for the days through the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Punxsutawney Area School District Superintendent Dr. Tom Lesniewski said the district would consider using the flexible instruction days if the bill passed.

However, they have to study if it would work for the district.

Lesniewski said technology is a big factor– every student in the district is given either an iPad or laptop.

The biggest issue for the district is not every student has internet access at home.

“We don’t have ideal internet access across those 300 square miles, so even though I might have a student with a laptop at home, they wouldn’t be able to access the internet anyway,” Lesniewski said.

The school district had seven snow days this year– meaning seven days tacked on to the end of the year.

Lesniewski said the legislation would be useful because it would prevent inclement weather from extending the school year.

If the bill is passed, the district would form a committee of staff, teachers, parents and students to consider it over the course of a year.

The bill is waiting on Governor Tom Wolf to either pass or veto it.

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