Penns Valley

After plowing through snow days, Centre County school districts will extend school year

The end of the school year for Centre Couny school districts has been pushed back to either the first or second week of June because of weather-related cancellations.

After six snow days, one early dismissals and four delays, the State College Area School District’s last day of school is now scheduled for June 13. It had originally been scheduled for June 6.

SCASD’s number of snow days fall in line with the Bellefonte, Bald Eagle and Philipsburg-Osceola area school districts, as all three have canceled seven times this school year. BASD’s last day is scheduled for June 10, while BEA’s and P-O’s is June 6.

“It is very unusual,” BASD Superintendent Michelle Saylor wrote in an email. “This has been a particularly cold and icy winter.”

Penns Valley Area School District is also scheduled to end the school year June 6 after six cancellations. That’s one snow day away from tying the most in one school year in the past decade.

Each district had at least two make-up days built into their academic calendars, but those have been used. Any additional cancellations will extend the school year even further.

The smorgasbord of winter weather has also forced Penn State University to announce four cancellations and three early dismissals, which represents a significant increase compared to the past decade.

The most interruptions during that time period was one cancellation and one delay in 2016-17, according to Penn State Assistant Strategic Communications Director Wyatt DuBois.

He said the decision to cancel classes and activities at University Park is made by Penn State meteorologists, police and public safety leaders, the emergency management agency and the Office of Physical Plant, along with consultation from local, state and national agencies.

“Safety is our priority when making a decision about weather-related cancellations,” DuBois wrote in an email. “Forecasts, of course, can shift, so individuals regularly monitor them from a number of places and attempt to make a reasonable decision as early as possible for our campus community.”

According to the National Weather Service, another inch of precipitation by the end of February in State College would make this the wettest winter on record (December-February). With rain in the forecast over the weekend, that mark could be hit next week.

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Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.