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School Cancellations Taking Their Toll On Districts

By: Alyssa Marsico
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Bill-Rehkopf Bill Rehkopf
Bill is a native of Murrysville and attended Franklin Regional High...
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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – Extreme winter conditions across the area have brought large amounts of snow and subzero temperatures.

While students are enjoying sleeping in and snow days, school districts are starting to scramble to fit in all the make-up days.

Dr. Charles Machesky, Superintendent of the Uniontown Area School District and arguably one of the hardest hit areas, joined Bill Rehkopf on the KDKA Afternoon News to talk delays, closings and make-up days.

Uniontown has already had 10 closures and 14 two-hour delays so far this year and Dr. Machesky says it’s because student safety has to be at the top of their list.

“In our mountain areas, we have three schools in the mountains, plus when the students leave grade eight schools and come to nine through 12, down the mountain, into the city, that’s quite a trip. If things are bad in the mountains, we have a policy where we can’t just close one school. This winter that hasn’t been a problem because it’s been bad everywhere,” Machesky said.

Typically after consulting with the township supervisors and road crews, they make a decision on if a two-hour delay will suffice, or if a cancellation is necessary. Machesky says he tries to let parents know what they game plan is the night before so that they can make the necessary plans for child care.

These snow days may feel great to students now, however come summertime when they are still in classes instead of outside, it might finally sink in how rough this winter was.

“We have made up President’s Day, we’ve made up Martin Luther King Day, we’ve already scheduled Easter Monday and the May election day,” Machesky says. “We have added days to the end of the school calendar. Originally we were scheduled to have graduated and closed by June 3rd now we are pushed back to Friday June the 13th.”

Listen to the full interview below:

You can also listen to Bill Rehkopf and the Afternoon News weekdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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