NEW CASTLE Building extends schools vacation

The calendar still includes a two-week Christmas break, Hink said.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Construction at Neshannock Memorial Elementary School will give all pupils in the district an extension to their summer vacation.
School board directors approved the 2003-2004 school calendar at their monthly meeting Thursday night.
Sept. 2 will be the starting date for the 2003-2004 school year. Pupils have returned to school one week earlier in prior years.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Hink said the main reason for the extension is the construction at the elementary school. The architects recommended giving the construction workers as much time as possible before pupils return to the classrooms.
"Many people have suggested waiting until after Labor Day to start and this is a good year to try it," Hink said.
The last day of school will be June 11, 2004. Pupils will still receive a two-week Christmas break, he said.
Bids to be opened
Bids for the construction will be opened during a special meeting April 29. Total cost for the renovation project is estimated at $12 million.
Tentative approval was given, by a 7-2 vote, to implement a policy regarding who may be permitted to present diplomas to graduates. Board members Walter Kustra and Dr. John Dietz cast the no votes.
The policy will permit board members and all district employees to present their graduating senior with a diploma.
Hink said until now a written policy has not been established in the district regarding this issue.
High School Principal Maynard Harvey said that last year, the board permitted a former board member to present his child with his diploma, and that caused a full-time employee to question why he could not present his child with a diploma.
Kustra told the board, "I believe we should draw the line at the superintendent and keep it nice and clean." Dietz agreed and said, "What might look like a nice thing to do may turn chaotic."
The board also gave approval for Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew Mangino's office to conduct a countywide emergency preparedness training from 6 to 10 p.m. May 15 in the high school cafeteria.
Neshannock is one of five sites in the county where the training program will be presented.