To make up for school days lost due to Hurricane Sandy, Tamaqua School District students will be in school Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Day, and Feb. 18, President's Day, directors decided during a meeting Tuesday night.

The board also contracted with Constellation New Energy Inc. to purchase electricity for two years at a fixed price of .04692 per kilowatt hour. The agreement begins July 1, 2013. District business manager Connie Ligenza explained that the district is a member of a consortium formed to seek better electric rates. In order to get the best rate, the district needed to commit to a two-year contract, which gave consortium members a better rate than a one-year contract.

The district's existing contract is with Exelon at a per kilowatt hour rate of .0602. That 18-month agreement runs out at the end of June 2013.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics, in 2012 the average cost per kilowatt hour in Pennsylvania is .159, and the national average is .133.

Board President Larry Wittig commented on the district's success in negotiating a low rate.

"It's amazing how competition works," Wittig said.

In other action, the board:

Approved Drusilla Laughman, Tamaqua, as Drama Club director; and Adriane Drum, high school teacher, as Drama Club marketing director.

Approved the purchase of a copier for the middle school from Keystone Business Products at a cost not to exceed $13,117.

Approved equipment purchases for the high school cafeteria for a total of $29,190; and cafeteria tables for the Tamaqua Elementary school at a cost not to exceed $30,000.

Approved additions to the substitute teacher list: Ernest Massar, Tresckow and Jeanine Gerber, Tamaqua.