State Rejects Hazleton Area Four-Day School Week

HAZLETON -- The state has said no to plan for four-day school weeks in Hazleton.

It has been a rough start to the school year for the Hazleton Area School District. Last week, the district dealt with transportation troubles.

On Thursday, the superintendent found out the district's plan for a four-day school week during part of the year was shot down by the state Department of Education.

The school board voted back in July for a four-day school week during the winter months, but to actually shorten the school year below 180 days, the district needs the state Department of Education's approval.

"I think combined with the busing issue, it might feel like another punch in the gut, but that is not the way I am receiving it personally as the superintendent," said Hazleton Area Superintendent Craig Butler.

It's also not the way parents in the district are receiving the news either, especially those concerned about where their kids would go if they weren't in school on Mondays.

"I think it is a relief, especially for people who both work, when both parents or single parents work it is a struggle," said Kim Martin.

One of the ways the school district was hoping to make up for its $10 million deficit was to have one less school day for part of the year. That's off the table now, so it's back to taking another hard look at the budget.

"There are other things to be cut besides education. The kids need their education. That is very important," said parent Betty Welsh.

The district superintendent and the school board will meet this month and look at what can make up for the money the district had planned on saving with that four-day schedule .

The district had already adjusted this year's school schedule to reflect the four-day school week. It had hoped would be approved by the board of education.

Now when the school board meets this month, they will also have to readjust the school calendar, and ensure buses are scheduled to pick up students those days.

8 comments

  • hachi

    Catholic and private schools have only 155 days per school year.. why do public schools do 180 days ? also 4 day school week is a great idea, i have family in Montana monday thru thursday school week.. 3 day weekend sounds good to me

    • joe

      Wrong.
      In Pa all schools must have 180 days or 900 hrs.
      “Length of School Year and Days
      •Instructional time for a child enrolled in a day school operated by a religious body must be a minimum of 180 days or 900 hours at the elementary level, or 990 hours at the secondary level. 24 P.S. §13-1327(b).
      •Licensed K–12 private academic schools must be in session a minimum of 180 days of instruction or the equivalent clock hour requirement with prior approval of the state board of private academic schools. Upon request, the Board may approve a school year containing a minimum of 990 secondary or 900 elementary and 450 kindergarten hours of instruction as the equivalent of 180 days, when a meritorious educational program warrants. 22 Pa. Code §51.61. “

  • laura

    ummm why hasn’t the state stepped in to see why they have a 10 million dollar deficit? something’s not right there…….

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