This seems to be a hot topic for many people this week, so I thought I’d chime in.
Having grown up in East Penn School District, Wednesday’s 1:30 p.m. dismissal times seem only natural. It’s the way it’s always been. As a lifelong resident of the district, I never really asked why.
But as a parent, now I also wonder.
When I was a student, Wednesdays were my favorite day of the week. Naturally, it was a shorter school day, which meant less time sitting in the stuffy classroom. But it also meant there was a unique opportunity to visit with friends in the middle of the hectic school week.
Children boarded school buses with notes from parents stating changes in drop-off locations.
“Jeff, please note that Jenae will be getting off the bus with Audrey this afternoon so they can have a play date. Sincerely, Mrs. Wolfe.”
It was a little like having a holiday break every week. I looked forward to Wednesdays with an anticipation similiar to that with which I now look forward to summer vacations.
As soon as one Wednesday afternoon play date was over, I would begin my planning for the following week. Whose house would I go to? What adventure would we embark upon?
It also allowed the opportunity for dentist appointments and other daytime errands, which as a child I didn’t appreciate as much as I do as a parent.
Now that my own children are attending East Penn, my feelings about early dismissal on Wednesdays are mixed. I’m fortunate that I can work from home and have a flexible schedule.
How do you feel about early dismissal Wednesdays in East Penn? Tell us in the comments.
And I do take advantage of those early afternoon appointments.
I’m also fortunate that my in-laws live a block from my children’s school and can assist in crunch times.
It’s actually worked out pretty well for my oldest son to take piano lessons at 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and not interfere with his evening schedule of sports and homework.
But I think back to the year that my oldest was in afternoon kindergarten attending his one-hour school day each Wednesday. It seemed like such a waste of time and gas.
He got on the bus at 12:15 and came home at 1:40. What could possibly be learned in that short hour – especially when factoring in all the logistics of getting on and off the bus, settling into the classroom, etc.
I imagine not a whole lot.
I empathize with the families who have two parents working full-time and for the single parents who don’t have many options. It must be a logistical nightmare.
My husband teaches in Parkland School District where such a schedule doesn’t exist. Regardless of not having half-day Wednesdays, other districts follow a similar yearly school calendar to East Penn and everyone seems to do fine with it.
I wonder if there’s a way we can get everyone on the same page to avoid the frustration that seems to be growing with these differences in scheduling.