Line Mountain students to start late
MANDATA - The start of the new school year at Line Mountain School District will be delayed by two days due to ongoing renovations at the elementary, middle and high schools.
Class will be in session for the first time in 2013-14 on Aug. 28. The second day of school will be Aug. 29. After that, students, faculty and staff will have four days off for the Labor Day holiday, with classes to resume Sept. 3.
David Campbell, district superintendent, said parents of kindergarten students will be telephoned individually by district employees with specific instructions on the start of school.
The remaining district parents will receive a mass-automated telephone call, and specifics on the new start date will be added to the district website.
The school year will not be extended to make up for the delay; rather, Nov. 11 and Jan. 20 will be makeup days.
The original start date was Aug. 26, but was pushed back by a unanimous 9-0 vote of the district school board on Tuesday.
School buildings in Trevorton and Mandata were expanded to accommodate a realignment of the school district. Students in grades kindergarten through fourth will attend class in Trevorton, with fifth- and sixth-graders will be taught in the new addition of the high school building.
Geothermal work started late
A brief extension of the 2013 summer vacation will allow the general contractor and subcontractors to "keep the foot on the pedal" in completing renovation and construction work, Campbell said.
That work will switch to the second shift when school begins, he said.
Campbell said it's geothermal work at the Mandata site and not the addition of a new wing for the middle school that has slowed progress. That work got started three weeks later than projected, but he said contractors are busy working toward completion.
It will be about two weeks before drop ceilings are completed throughout the middle and high schools. Floor tiling there also needs completed.
The Trevorton building appears closer to completion. Fencing and mulching in the playground is expected to be finished next week. However, a big part of the project is yet to be completed. Windows for the building should arrive shortly and be installed in the coming days, Campbell said.
The buildings will be cleaned leading up to the start of school, including over the last weekend of summer vacation.
As it stands now, the classrooms are not yet "teacher ready," Campbell said, but they will by the teacher-in-service day on Aug. 26. Two days may not be quite enough time for teachers to organize and decorate their classrooms, and that work may continue into the first few days of the school year, he said.
Students in the new buildings, particularly fifth and sixth grades, will need some time to get oriented to the expanded buildings and changes to cafeteria, etc. Campbell said it could take two, three days for most to get the hand of a revamped school setting. Campbell urged parents of students who struggle with orientation for more than two weeks to call the district.
Elementary buildings in Leck Kill and Dalmatia were closed as part of the realignment. The school board is considering how to go about selling the properties and are seeking estimates on appraisal services to do just that.
The buildings were renamed by the school board Tuesday. Trevorton will be known as Line Mountain Elementary School and the Mandata addition as Line Mountain Middle School. That will allow the junior-senior high school to shed the hyphenated moniker and be known simply as Line Mountain High School.