By Steven Hoffman

Staff Writer

Avon Grove is joining the growing number of school districts in Pennsylvania that are reducing the number of school days for students during the current school year because of the frequent winter storms that have hit the area.

Superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese updated the school board at its Feb. 18 meeting on the efforts to make up the nine school days that have been lost this year. One of the ways is to reduce the number of school days for students from 182 to 180, which is the state minimum.

 “This has been a very difficult winter that we’ve experienced,” Marchese said.

The board agreed to the calendar change.

Even after reducing the number of student days, it has been a challenge to make up all the time that has been missed this winter.

Marchese said that the district is turning a teacher in-service day on March 7 into a school day for students. This was made possible, he said, because of the cooperation of the Avon Grove Education Association, the union that represents the district’s teachers.

Two additional days have been tacked on the end of the school year. The district is also making up four snow days in April by reducing the spring break.

“Hopefully, we don’t have any more snow days and the last day can stay at June 20,” Marchese said. “We’re in a unique situation and we’re doing the best we can.”

The district is also working on its calendar for the 2014-15 school year. Marchese said that the district received a tremendous response to a school calendar survey from all stakeholders—including parents, students, and staff—and the respondents overwhelmingly favored a proposed school calendar that has the next school year starting before Labor Day.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to accept a $2,000 donation that was made to the Avon Grove High School Robotics Team from Neil Huber of XO Energy.