Peters Township School Board approved a couple of measures Monday that should prompt many township residents to adjust their calendars.
Along with pushing back the start of the academic year for students to Aug. 24, the board also voted to extend the discount and face periods for the collection of real estate taxes by one month each. Under legislation signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on July 23, property owners have until Sept. 30 to pay at a 2% discount and Nov. 30 to pay at face value before penalties would be imposed.
The Rev. Jamison Hardy, who chairs the school board’s finance committee, said Peters Township in the first district in the area to implement the measure, which is intended to provide relief for taxpayers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This school district has positioned itself to endure this crisis with little to no disruption financially,” he said. “Even building a new high school, even renovating the existing high school, we have put ourselves in a position where even when revenue might be down from tax collection and earned income tax and the like, we are strong, stable and are not in danger financially.”
He pointed out in June, the board approved spending $1.55 million toward providing computers for all students in the district, as a means to enhance remote instruction and learning.
“We are prepared to meet the challenges of the future here financially,” Hardy asserted, “and I’m pretty confident that we can get through it without any problems.”
The board’s vote on the school calendar means that students will start their studies three days later than listed previously. The intervening time will be in-service days for teachers’ training in Canvas, the district’s new learning management system that provides a framework and tools to facilitate learning both inside and outside of the school building.
The in-service days count as pupil instructional time under an exception to Act 80 of 1969 for “programs dealing with new subjects or activities having an impact on the educational program.”
“We will meet all of our instructional day and hour requirements with this calendar,” Superintendent Jeannine French said.