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Fire Forces Northwest Area To Delay First Week Of School

August 20, 2018 GMT

The start of the 2018-19 school year for Northwest Area School District students will be delayed at least one week, following a fire at the district’s middle/high school on Saturday.

Bette Ellis, the district’s director of operations, said district schools will not open on Aug. 27, as scheduled.

“We definitely will not start next Monday,” Ellis said Sunday night. “The whole first week is definitely off.”

District officials have not set a target date for the start of classes, but the district will not open until after Labor Day, according to Ellis. The delayed start of the school year applies to all district students, including those in elementary grades, she said.


The fire heavily damaged a portion of the middle/high school’s second floor, Ellis said.

Representatives of the district’s insurance company will inspect the school in Union Twp. today, after which officials might have a better idea how long it will take to repair the damage to the point the school can open, Ellis said.

One option being considered is the use of temporary modular classrooms, she said.

Once officials set a revised start date for the school year, that information will be sent to district parents via an automated phone messaging system, and will also be posted to the district’s website, Ellis said.

That website was out of service Saturday night and Sunday, since electrical power to the district’s WiFi was cut off after the fire, according to Ellis. The district hopes to restore power and bring the site online today, she said.

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