POTTSTOWN PA – Administrators in the Pottsgrove School District came late Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 2, 2015) to what some district residents on social media claimed was an inevitable conclusion. They decided to delay opening Pottsgrove High School for four days, pushing back the start of the school year for about 1,000 students from Sept. 8 to Sept. 14 (Monday).
The additional time will allow construction crews to wrap up remaining summer renovation projects and “permit our faculty ample time to get their classrooms ready,” district Superintendent Shellie Feola announced in an e-mail distributed after 4 p.m. She added the delay best served “the safety and well-being of our students.”
Reconstruction of the high school, now in its second year, took longer than anticipated because of what Feola described as “unforeseen conditions,” primarily “lead in the cafeteria ceiling and asbestos behind classroom chalkboards.”
All other district buildings – West Pottsgrove, Ringing Rocks, and Lower Pottsgrove elementaries, and Pottsgrove Middle School – will open Sept. 8 on time, Feola noted.
Despite the delay, students who attend either the Western Montgomery County Career and Technology Center in Limerick or Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown will be provided with bus transportation to those facilities beginning Sept. 8. Feola said the district transportation department will send details to affected families “by the end of the week.”
Thanks to an Aug. 25 school board decision, students will not be required to make up at least three of the four days. How directors handle the fourth day “will be addressed at their upcoming meeting,” which also is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the middle school. Feola said “the board may elect to waive that day as well,” or designate a make-up day for high school students.
Feola promised the district will work with its high school faculty “to be certain that all course content (including AP courses) is covered as in prior school years.”
“We do apologize for this delay,” Feola’s e-mail stated in closing. “Our top priority in addition to the education of our students is the well being of our students and staff. We make this decision with both of these priorities in mind. We look forward to a great school year.”