Superintendent of Schools Thomas L. Seidenberger was really trying to be a glass-is-half-full kind of a guy at last night’s Board of School Director’s meeting.
During his superintendent’s report to the board, he spoke of the “harrowing week” the district had just experienced – closing down for two full days during the first week of school due to heavy rains and flooding.
“I don’t think anyone was pleased with the results,” he said, adding that the safety of East Penn students and staff guided the decision-making process.
Quickly moving to a glass-is-half-full position, Seidenberger told the board that the district had already asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to excuse East Penn from the missed days, especially since a state of emergency had been declared in the Commonwealth as a result of Hurricane Irene the week before.
“I am optimistic that we will get relief,” Seidenberger said.
Then, Seidenberger’s glass got a bit less full, as he asked the board to make a just-in-case vote related to the district’s calendar, turning an existing Oct. 10 in-service day into a regular day of school.
“If we don’t get approval from the state,” he said the board’s vote would enable his office to let the principals and the parents know about the Oct. 10 calendar change sooner, rather than later.
The glass all but toppled over when Seidenberger told the board that his team is looking at the Monday after Thanksgiving as the second potential rain make-up day. But, he said, his office would need to run that option by a variety of groups to test its viability and until that happened, he would not ask the board to make such a calendar change official.
“Because this is so atypical, because we had two snow days before the start of the snow season, if we have to make up the two days, this would enable us to go into the winter season kind of whole,” he said.
School Board President Charles Ballard said keeping the schools open on the Monday after Thanksgiving probably wouldn’t be too popular, since it is an “unofficial Commonwealth holiday” since it's the start of deer hunting season.
The board voted unanimously, by a vote of 9-0, to allow the Oct. 10 in-service day to become a school day.