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Expect Word Today On Pottsgrove High Opening

The interior of the new gymnasium (above) at Pottsgrove High School

POTTSTOWN PA – Today’s the day (Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015) that parents of Pottsgrove High School students and the public should get word from school district administrators on whether the still-being-renovated building on Kauffman Road can open Sept. 8 as scheduled, or if final preparation work there will delay the opening for up to several days.

Superintendent Shellie Feola last week promised she would have an answer to that question, available for electronic and other distribution, by sometime before today’s end … even though contractors are not expected to “hand over the keys” to the building until Friday (Sept. 4), according to district construction supervisor Jim Hanna.

Pottsgrove’s four other school buildings are unaffected by work at the high school, and will open Sept. 8 as expected, Feola said.

When the Board of School Directors met last Tuesday (Aug. 25), it approved in advance measures that gave the district up to four additional days, if needed, to have contractors complete final cleaning and readiness on high school projects that occurred during summer months. The building is in its second of a three-year, multi-million dollar update-and improvement reconstruction.

Work there was thrown off schedule by unanticipated problems that arose during construction. Pottsgrove directors last month authorized up to $50,000 in overtime payments to help bring the project back on schedule. Hanna told them the extra hours contractor crews could put in on night, weekend and holiday shifts should help, but a decision about the high school opening was deferred until administrators knew more.

If a delay is called today, Feola said, it may be attributed in part to the desire to ensure high school teachers have adequate time to set up their classrooms and prepare student materials. Their labor contract with the district provides at least one full day of set-up time, she added. Many teachers have been unable to get into classrooms as renovations continued.

“Our students will do best if our teachers are prepared. I feel we have to give our teachers enough time for getting ready, for being successful,” Feola told board members.

pottsgrove school district: Expect Word Today On Pottsgrove High Opening

Pottsgrove School District teachers fill audience seats during the start of this year’s staff development days, in a photo posted Tuesday (Sept. 1) on Twitter

High school and other teachers this week are participating in staff development days that cover, among other items, how they will adapt their methods to grading scale changes being introduced district-wide. Those sessions are scheduled through Friday as well.

An opening delay may also have consequences for high school students enrolled in advanced placement (AP) courses. The district has pledged to ensure teachers will cover the content those students must complete to succeed on AP exams scheduled next spring. Dustin Schreiber, a student who told directors of his concerns about AP courses, said he and possibly others may instead join Montgomery County Community College courses as an alternative to a late start.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Aug. 25 meeting):

Photos from Pottsgrove High School

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