Bellefonte Area unveils 2017-18 school calendar

At a Bellefonte Area school board meeting Tuesday night, the 2017-18 district calendar was introduced.

According to a document from the district, the first day of class is scheduled for Aug. 28. The last day of class is scheduled for May 31, 2018.

There is also only one snow makeup day — April 2 — scheduled for next school year.

Superintendent Michelle Saylor said the reason is because the district is working on a three-hour school delay, instead of a two-hour delay, which could allow students to be in school part of a day without having to cancel school completely due to inclement weather.

However, the calendar could change if a House Bill is passed that would require districts in the commonwealth to wait until after Labor Day to start school.

HB 73, introduced by state Rep. Bob Godshall, R-53, is an act amending the Public School Code of 1949, also known as Title 24, changing provisions related to school schedules, and opening schools after Labor Day.

This bill was introduced as a way to ensure that Pennsylvania families get all the benefits of a full, traditional summer vacation while not negatively impacting the education of students,” Godshall said. “This issue has proven to be very popular.”

In a video posted on his website, the congressman said a poll was conducted in 2006 by researchers at Mansfield University that included about 2,000 people from the commonwealth, and showed up to 47 percent of people supported the idea.

“It was overwhelming,” he said in the video. “People in Pennsylvania said, ‘this is what we want.’ For one reason, the Labor Day weekend, the weekend before Labor Day, is the biggest family vacation weekend of the whole year. … It’s important to the tourism industry, it’s important to the kids, it’s important to the families.”

A final calendar will need to be passed by the nine-member school board.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo