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Bellefonte Area School District adds 3-hour delay option

Bellefonte Area School District adds 3-hour delay option in the event of bad weather due to snow or ice.
Bellefonte Area School District adds 3-hour delay option in the event of bad weather due to snow or ice. Centre Daily Times, file

On snowy mornings, kids (and parents) wait for the phone calls, emails or social media posts that tell them what they really need to know.

Is school delayed? Just an hour? Maybe two? Or is it canceled altogether?

One Centre County school district has another option this year.

Bellefonte Area School District has instituted a three-hour delay.

The plan was to put the delay in as a step that might curb how many instructional days are lost to winter weather.

Superintendent Michelle Saylor said weather responses could be progressive, starting with one-hour delays and working up to two or three before a decision for cancellation is made as situations change and information comes in.

“The decision will be made based upon all current information available, and the call will be issued to ensure the safest travel conditions for our students and staff while still considering the educational value the day affords,” she said in a statement.

In recent years, snow days have caused complications for Centre County districts had to extend school years or count up instructional hours instead of days to meet Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements. The state has even had to modify standardized testing schedules due to snow days.

Bellefonte had just a two-hour delay Thursday, but Philipsburg-Osceola became the first Centre County district to lose a day to snow in the 2017-18 school year when it canceled because of Winter Storm Chloe.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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