Snow Days Require Seniors to Report to School on Saturdays


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - Some Pennsylvania students may soon be going to school on Saturdays with a seemingly relentless number of winter storms this year.  

"I’ve been in the Pennsylvania system since 1988 and I don't recall anything like this,” said Dr. Wendy Royer, assistant superintendent of Waynesboro Area School District. “There certainly has never been this many snow days in a winter."

Waynesboro area school district has had only two uninterrupted weeks since the end of winter break because of the weather. Now, seniors will have to go to school on two Saturdays, May 17 and May 31 in order to keep their June 9, 2014 graduation date.

"The board was very committed to not changing that date due to travel plans that families may have made,” said Royer. “In addition, many seniors made plans beginning on Monday June 9th for either a senior week or we have several trips going to Europe."

It is a decision most students actually seem to support.

"I think they like the idea because I think they just want to graduate already earlier,” said Waynesboro Area Senior High School student Tatyana Valente.

"I’m going on a Europe trip at the end of the school year and it's right after school ends so if we get any more of them then it's really going to be pushed back and I’m going to miss a few days of school,” said Waynesboro Area Senior High School student Alexis Coyne.

For the school board, there is also state funding on the line.

"At this point in time, your option is to either have school on Saturday for seniors or lose funding for those instructional hours…From a fiscal responsibility perspective, we don't want to do that,” said Royer. "In order receive 100 percent of our funding, we will have to make up.”

Other school districts in Franklin County are also facing similar dilemmas. All of them have pushed back the date for their last day of school, and some of them have had to postpone graduation. It is a headache for both students and administrators who say they are sick of snow days.

"At first I was pretty happy about them, and then after a while I started getting tired of them,” said Waynesboro Area Senior High School student Savannah Smith. “I kind of just want to finish the year off."

Administrators in Waynesboro say they are not sure yet what the student schedule will be for the two Saturdays seniors will have to go to school, but they say they are most likely going to have graduation rehearsals.

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