The school calendar for the 2020-2021 school year was approved by the Hempfield Area School Board on Monday, January 20, 2020. To develop a proposed school calendar, a committee of teachers and administrators meet to discuss a number of considerations as described below. The proposed calendar is then presented to the school board for consideration. It is the goal of the committee and the school board to have a school calendar that best optimizes learning for all students while accommodating the needs and desires of many stakeholders.
Nearly two hundred Hempfield Area High School students attend the Central Westmoreland Career and Technical Center (CWCTC) for a portion of the school day each year. The CWCTC includes students from ten school districts, all of which have varying school calendars. Consideration is given to the start date of other districts belonging to the CWCTC so that participating Hempfield Area students are not at a disadvantage with the opening of school. The CWCTC calendar begins school on Monday, August 24, 2020, three days prior to the start for our school district.
Annual assessment dates for the Keystone Assessments for high school students and the PSSA for elementary and middle school students are set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Our students have greater opportunities to achieve at higher levels when a greater number of instructional days occur prior to the assessment dates.
The dates of the Westmoreland County Fair are taken into consideration as students participating in 4H are greatly involved in showing livestock. The fair always begins on the third Friday of August. The fair falls later in the month this year with the third Friday being August 21. The 2020-2021 school year will begin on Thursday, August 27, 2020, which provides opportunities for fair participation, yet balancing the desire to provide more instructional days prior to the state assessments.
The date of graduation is carefully considered. A rain date is no longer scheduled for graduation as parents have expressed challenges for traveling guests and for parents who must plan to be off work for both possible dates. Graduation is scheduled for a single date and is held indoors in the event of inclement weather. A Friday evening graduation ceremony is preferred for families traveling over the weekend.
Kennywood coordinates the number and size of school districts scheduled by date. The Hempfield Area School District is scheduled annually for the first Monday of June. It is a goal to have concluded school by the date of the school picnic, if possible.
Contractual agreements with the instructional and support staff include specifics in regards to the number of agreed upon days and/or dates for professional learning, clerical days, and holidays. The school calendar is developed to accommodate the agreed upon conditions of all contracts.
Snow days are built into the calendar and revisions are made to the calendar as necessary during the school year to reflect these changes. Questions in regards to the school calendar can be directed to the building principal and or to my attention at Wolickit@hasdpa.net.