Shaler Area school board approves 2020-21 school calendar -

Shaler Area school board approves 2020-21 school calendar

Monday, February 24, 2020 | 11:00 PM

The Shaler Area School Board during a Feb. 19 meeting approved the district’s 2020-21 school year calendar.

The first day of school for students is Aug. 26, and the last day is June 4. Early dismissals for all students will fall Sept. 18, Dec. 23 and June 2 through 4. High school students will have an early dismissal May 28 due to prom.

Students won’t have class on the following teacher in-service days: Oct. 12, Nov. 3, Jan. 18 and 19, Feb. 15, March 5, May 25 and June 7. Teachers and students won’t have school Sept. 7, Nov. 26, 27 and 30, Dec. 24, 25, and 28 through 31, Jan. 1, March 29 through 31, April 1, 2 and 5 and May 31.

The district will make up school cancellations on the following dates in the assigned order: 1. Jan. 19, 2. April 5, 3. March 29, 4. March 30.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s flexible instructional day (FID) program won’t play a role in the district’s usage of make-up dates.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a law last summer allowing public school teachers to assign online and/or offline learning when schools are closed due to hazardous weather, damage to a school building, inoperability of equipment necessary for its operation or other reasons.

“We bill snow days into our calendar. They typically wrap around spring break. What these five days will allow us to do is allocate these days as flexible instructional days where students would have to complete work at home, turn it in, be graded and assessed on it. But they would in turn not have to make the snow day up,” Assistant Superintendent Bryan O’Black said in August 2019.

Superintendent Sean Aiken said that Shaler Area was one of the first districts to receive FID approval.

“When we actually sat down and started working through the logistics of making it work in our district at that time, maybe in November, we decided that it wasn’t the best fit for our school district,” he said.

“We’re kind of in a wait and see mode. And see if some other school districts have success with it. A lot of other districts have backed away from it, surprisingly.”

Also at the meeting, the board reappointed Sherri Ludwig, as district business affairs director, for a five-year term, effective until June 30, 2025.

“Sherri, we’re very lucky to have you. … It has not been an easy job for you since you got here. And I think we’re very lucky to have you. Congratulations on a new contract,” Board Vice President April Kwiatkowski said.

Board member Jeanne Petrovich said that she agreed.

“Probably the best five-year contract we ever invested in,” Board member Tim Gapsky said.

“I enjoy being here, and I really like the work we’re doing, so I appreciate your vote of confidence,” said Ludwig.