The graduation date for seniors in the Central York School District is still undetermined, as the school board chose to see what the weather this week holds before voting on makeup options at its meeting next week.
The district has canceled school seven days this year. If there are no more cancellations, seniors will go to school 179 days, one day short of the state requirement of 180 days.
As of Monday, the last school day for students in kindergarten through 11th grade is Thursday, June 12. The seniors are still scheduled to graduate on Friday, May 30, two weeks before the updated last day of school.
Superintendent Michael Snell presented five options for the shortage of days seniors will attend school. Only one of them included moving the graduation date - to Friday, June 6. Other options included having seniors attend school on Saturdays or designating more snow makeup days for Good Friday, April 18, and Monday, April 21. Another option is to change the legal coding of two teacher in-service days to be days that count for students, even though the students would not be required to attend school those days.
The fifth option was to lose subsidy money for each day the seniors are not in school. That cost would be $3,000 a day for every day seniors are under the 180-day requirement.
Board opinion: Snell said the administration's recommendation is to change the coding on the two in-service days and wait until next week before taking further action, to see how the weather this week affects the calendar.
The board members will discuss and vote on which options they will take next week. But some board members have already stated their opinion on some of the options.
Board member Deborah Myers said if came down to paying a fine or moving graduation, she would change the graduation date.
"I'm not going to keep it (graduation) at the expense of the other taxpayers at $3,000 a day," Myers said.
Public input: Several parents spoke from the audience, asking for concrete answers about when their children would be in school.
Board President Michael Wagner recommended the board vote on the options next week, so people know what to expect for the rest of the year.
Students also spoke about graduation during the public comment section, and asked the board to do everything it can to keep the May 30 date intact. Emily Loefferholz, the senior class president, and representative Benjamin Carter referenced family plans, college starting in June for some students and work schedules to pay for college that all will be affected if graduation is delayed. Carter said the months leading up to graduation should be a happy note for seniors, and asked the board to make a decision seniors can count on.
"This period should be celebratory and stress-free,"Carter said.
Future calendar: The board will also vote to approve the calendar for the 2014-15 school year at its meeting next Monday.
The district had asked for public feedback on its proposed calendar for the 2014-15 school year. There were more than 75 comments about the proposal. After those comments, the district added an additional four weather emergency days to its calendar, which was proposed at the meeting Monday. There are eight total days, with six of them occurring before the end of the school year.
As proposed, the first student day next year would be Wednesday, Aug. 20. The last student day would be Thursday, June 4. Board members Barbara Johnston and Greg Lewis said they believe the school year starts too early, and the board should discuss the option of moving the starting date back next year.
Board member Eric Wolfgang said when he first started on the board, the calendar did not include a set graduation date. Wolfgang said he would be in favor of waiting to set that date until next February or March, to avoid the situation the district is facing this year.
The next board meeting will be at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17 at the Education Service Center, 775 Marion Road in York.
- Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.