Welcome everyone to this week’s edition of the Derry Diary.

With graduation soon approaching, it’s beginning to look like many school districts will be conducting some sort of virtual graduation.

Based on the information provided by Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, as well as other so-called experts, it appears that any type of social gatherings above 25 people will not be permitted for quite some time, which leaves school districts scrambling for ideas on an approach for a virtual graduation.

Derry Area School District is no exception as it is in the process of exploring ways to hold graduation. The district is also looking at ideas for recognition activities to possibly be held later in the summer.

As if things couldn’t get any crazier, the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU), which meets weekly with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), has suggested that school districts start thinking about alternative ideas for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

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Speaking of the Derry Area School District, the regular monthly school board meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 7, has been canceled. After reviewing the agenda, the district decided that there were no pressing issues that couldn’t wait until the May 21 meeting. It has not been determined whether that meeting will be held via the Zoom platform.

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Congratulations to Dennis Dablock on his retirement. Yesterday, Dennis worked his final day at Dablock’s Beauty Shop. In case you missed it, Dennis and Lorie placed a really nice ad in Thursday’s Bulletin, announcing the closing of the business after 49 years. Dennis and Lorie thanked all of their customers for their friendship, loyalty and trust. They also wished everyone fantastic day ahead.

Here’s to wishing the Dablocks a long and happy retirement.

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Derry Township tax collector Debby Zello writes in to inform the Diary with an important updated announcement:

“The 2020 county/township real estate tax deadline has been extended from April 30 to Aug. 31. Taxpayers will have until Dec. 31 to pay their county/township real estate taxes without penalty.

“The Derry Township tax office still remains closed until further notice, so tax payers need to mail their payment in. If a receipt is requested, you MUST send ENTIRE statement and include a self-addressed stamped envelope to have a paid receipt returned. The address to mail payments is: 978 N. Chestnut St. Ext., Derry, PA 15627. Everyone stay safe and healthy.

Barbie Jones, early childhood liaison for the Derry Area School District, has provide important information regarding kindergarten registration.

If your child will be attending kindergarten in the fall of 2020, online registration is now open. To register your child, go to bit.ly/gvearlykregistration. For additional information, assistance or questions regarding registration, call: 724-694-2400 ext. 1103 or email wciocco@dasd.us.

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Derry Area School District continues to offer no-cost meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) school closure.

The no-cost meals are available regardless of income level or school attendance to students and any other district residents under the age of 18.

The district offers a drive-through service at Derry Area High School and provide delivery services to four locations throughout the district Monday through Friday.

A lunch for the current day and a breakfast for the next day, will be available throughout the duration of the school closure.

Drive-through service will be offered at the high school cafeteria entrance in the school’s rear parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Meal deliveries will be made Monday through Friday on the following schedule: 1116 Murtha Way from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m.; Holiday Acres at Scott Court by the playground from 11 to 11:15 a.m.; Derry Area Community Center (Germano Hall) from 11:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., and Dogwood Mobile Home Park on Earl Drive from 12 to 12:15 p.m.. Delivery time frames are estimates and may require adjustments.

Those who can’t make it to one of the delivery sites or who have other specific questions should contact Derry Area food service director Gwen Kozar at 724-694-1401, ext. 1442 or 1476, or by email at gkozar@dasd.us.

Thelma Kline of Derry wrote to the Diary a couple weeks ago with this announcement:

“The National Day of Prayer is not being delayed or cancelled at the national level. There will be a live broadcast of the national observance on the evening of May 7, the official date for the observance. The broadcast will be accessible on NDP’s website www.nationaldayofprayer.org, on GOD TV (check with your TV provider) and possibly Facebook Live. Check the NDP website for current updates and details.

“Derry’s National Day of Prayer (NDP) observance will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at Mossback Park in Derry. NDP is an annual event for all Americans of all faiths to unite and pray for America and her leaders. Never has the need for prayer been so great. The 2020 theme is ‘Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth.’ Servants’ Call will lead worship music and prayers will be offered by the community for Government, Churches, Military, Media, Education, Business, Family and First Responders. So, save the date for Derry’s 22nd National Day of Prayer Observance!”

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The Derry Area High School Class of 1970 will hold its 50th anniversary reunion Saturday, Aug. 15. Festivities will start with a Classmates Only Pizza Party on Friday, Aug. 14, at Rosemary’s Country Kitchen in New Derry. Saturday will include a dinner at DeNunzio’s Italian Chophouse (at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport) and an After Party get-together back at Rosemary’s. Sunday will feature a family picnic, with children under age 6 admitted free.

All classmates are encouraged to go to the derryhighschool.org site and register as an alumni.

Tickets for the individual events, along with detailed information, can be found online at TicketSpice.Derry High School Class of 70 Reunion.

In addition to this announcement, spokeswoman Lucy Byers said that she will also be mailing all classmates (approximately 260) the beginning of May. She added that reservations may also be made by mailing a check or money order in a self-addressed enclosed envelope to her. She said reservations must be made no later than Friday, July 17.

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The Derry Township Supervisors have closed the township office for in-person visits to the municipal building because of the ongoing COVID-19 threat to public health and safety. The supervisors are still available for essential services and the township’s office hours are from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to only receive emails at derrytownship@comcast.net and phone calls at 724-694-8835.

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Idlewild & SoakZone park management announced Wednesday on its website and social media pages that it would not be ready to launch the amusement park’s 143rd season on May 16. A new opening date has not yet been determined.

The park is still accepting applications for seasonal jobs and summer internships and conducting virtual interviews with candidates. Applications may be submitted at www.idlewild.com/emplyment

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Have a great weekend and a happy Cinco de Mayo!

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Derry Diary items may be emailed to liberoni@aol.com

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