With the start of the school year at Penns Manor today, all seven of the Indiana County-based school districts in the area are open. That leaves only West Shamokin yet to open. It is based in Armstrong County but some of its students are from Indiana County. It is scheduled to open next Tuesday.
Penns Manor got a late start because of some renovations including new security measures at its facilities. Among the changes of note is a new procedure for visitors to the schools. Everyone who arrives at the school must appear before newly-installed cameras and use a call button at the main entrances to the elementary school, high school, and district office. Visitors will be asked to identify themselves and state the reason they are there before they are buzzed in.
Over the summer, Penns Manor added air conditioning to the high school cafeteria, offices, gym, auditorium, and some classrooms. The main lobby restrooms and office spaces were renovated, new LED lighting was installed throughout the school, and there is a new front entrance that includes a visitor entrance room. Next summer, the high school will get air conditioning in the rest of the classrooms and new windows throughout.
The elementary school also has new LED lighting, part of a two-summer energy savings project at the school district. Next summer, the elementary school front office will be changed to include a visitor entrance room.
One other security measure for the elementary students is a change in building access. The doors will open at 8:30 AM, which reduces their time before the start of school by fifty percent.