Make-Up Day on Presidents’ Day

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ARCHBALD -- Many school districts that were supposed to have off for Presidents' Day ended up in class because of the number of snow days leading up to the holiday weekend.

The superintendent of the Valley View School District said the low temperature outside Valley View High School was -7 degrees. Inside, where students come in from the cold, is a clear message of what rough winters have taught administrators: a television display reminding parents and students that there was class on Presidents' Day.

Valley View and several other districts in Lackawanna County opened up over the long holiday weekend. Administrators in Archbald hoped to avoid adding days to the end of the year.

Valley View Superintendent Don Kanavy said he worked with teachers to develop a new school schedule this year after a near record number of snow days last year. The district eliminated the Presidents' Day holiday, two in-service days, and a day off in May.

"There`s got to be cooperation if we`re all going to get through this winter," Kanavy said.

Administrators and teachers came up with the schedule changes at a work session earlier this year.

High school students didn't seem to mind being in school on Presidents' Day. After all, it's warm inside the school.

"In the cold, nothing really. Sometimes we have swim practice when we don`t have school, but other than that just trying to stay warm," said senior Ryan Farnchak.

Teachers kept their brains warm and the lessons topical on this Presidents' Day non-holiday. One teacher took advantage by altering lesson plans for the day.

"I don`t really mind being here, being here gives us an opportunity to learn something about them.  Right now, we`re doing a project about the presidents in environmental science, how they affected the environment, what laws they've passed," said sophomore Lindsay Ubaldini.

The educational opportunity is just one of the pluses to having school on Presidents' Day. Valley View administrators said it also helps make up for lost class time leading up to state testing in the spring.

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