Jodi Maltese, president of the Shawnee Elementary PTA, told a group of 25 Forks Township parents at the organization's first meeting of the year Tuesday night that Gov. Tom Corbett must decide whether there will be a makeup day. School was canceled in the district for Aug. 29 because of Hurricane Irene.
Maltese, who received that report at a recent schools superintendents roundtable, also stated that snow dates will be built into the school schedule next year.
Three days will be added to the end of the school year for snow if needed, she said. If they are unused, students will attend school 180 days of the year.
Meanwhile, some parents have complained about the number of half days of school for parent-teacher conferences. Maltese said that will not change -- due to a contractual agreement with teachers.
She said it's hard to argue eliminating the half days when 95 percent of parents attend the teacher conferences.
Shawnee Principal Josie Galloway reported that the school year, the third for Shawnee, got off to a "great start."
"The third time is certainly the charm," she said. "We had a fantastic open house. I went home on Cloud Nine. There are so many nice people in this community. And we've worked out a lot of glitches."
Galloway said that she's still trying to address issues with one or two late buses, but explained to parents that sometimes it's hard to get buses on time since they make three runs for pickup: high school, middle school and elementary school.
She said Shawnee already has held several drills, including a fire drill and a lockdown drill.
Parents will also be allowed to participate in the state's Excellence By Design program, an accreditation process in which the district is evaluated. Parents, and even their children, can participate in a survey and offer feedback.
The school is also one of the last in the district to launch PBIS, the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support initiative.
Galloway said PBIS is a system for examining behavior schoolwide. Instead of punishing bad behavior, school officials reinforce and encourage good behavior.
She offered examples of students walking nicely in line and paying attention in class. The school hands out "shark bites," pieces of paper that can be redeemed for pencils, sharpeners and other items.
"Students are really buying into it," Galloway said. "They love hearing somebody say something nice."
The next PTA meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm on Oct. 11.