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East Penn Schools may Open Before Labor Day

Working 2012-2013 school calendar has an August start date.

A spokesperson for the says it is possible that the 2012-2013 school year in East Penn could start before Labor Day.

Nicole Bloise, East Penn community liaison, says that the district does have a working 2012-2013 school calendar that will be presented to the East Penn Board of School Directors for approval at the board’s Feb 13. meeting.

Nothing becomes official until the board votes on it, Bloise says.

“A lot of schools in Lehigh County are starting before Labor Day next year,” Bloise says. “We are looking at that as an option.

“We have a working calendar with an August start date. There is the potential that we could start before Labor Day, but that is not set in stone.”

Bloise would not say what date in August school would begin.

East Penn parents have been buzzing about the potential pre-Labor Day start date on Facebook for about a week. The Facebook posts were triggered by a Jan. 11 guidance office information night held at Emmaus High School for incoming freshmen and their parents.

According to the Facebook posts, the parents were told about the pre-Labor day start during the guidance office program on Jan. 11.

, which was also considering an earlier start date for 2012-2013 school year, recently decided against the pre-Labor Day start due to contract negotiations with the teacher's union.

Artie January 20, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Let's consider school year round. What is the purpose of starting school before Labor Day?
1MacungieVoice January 20, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Schools in other states that start before Labor Day also end in May. Does the school district plan on ending the school year in 2013 earlier if this goes into effect?
Reality Check January 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I would also be interested in knowing this. If the school year ends at the end of May, then go for it. But I also ask, what's the purpose? It's always begun after Labor Day and seems to make sense since that is the mark of summer's end.
Chelle Nelson January 20, 2012 at 08:32 PM
How can you print an article without providing complete information? Why does the school district think this will be beneficial? They have so many half days that it seems like such a waste of a school day. My son had half days every Wednesday when he was in elementary and now has half days for pep rallies in the middle school. Again, it seems like such a waste of time. School should start in September and finish in the beginning of June unless someone can provide an intelligent argument for otherwise.
Artie January 20, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I agree this article lacks detail. I have noticed this in past unrelated articles. All I can say is get the facts before publishing. The facts will speak for themselves.
L January 21, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Last time we checked the PA state laws, 180 school days are required. Therefore, if school starts 3 days earlier than usual, for example, school will end 3 days earlier so it is unlikely that school will end in May. For those who thought the article did not provide "complete information", it is not the Patch's fault....apparently Bloise would not give the details on the working calendar start date. We are sure that complete information will be available at the Board Meeting on 2/13/12.
Artie January 21, 2012 at 02:31 PM
So you say apparently Bloise didn't give all the details. I guess you really don't know what was released either. The article should not have been published without all the details.. Somehow, I wonder if the details were left out for a reason. The 180 days is not the question here. I still don't have answer to my original question. Why start before Labor Day? Kill me with the facts please. I did say facts.
Artie January 21, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Attaboy David stick to your guns. Sooner or later these school administrators will realize that people simply don't like there agenda. Still no answer why start before Labor Day
Rose Roberts January 24, 2012 at 05:42 PM
If you are concerned about this change to the calendar, I encourage you to speak at the board meeting. The superintendent does not seem to be concerned with the opinions of the parents of East Penn. The only way to make them listen is to go there and say it in front of them.
Chelle Nelson January 24, 2012 at 07:40 PM
If your statement is in any way true, "the superintendent does not seem to be concerned with the opinions of the parents of East Penn", then that's horribly sad and disturbing. And yes, I agree, parents need to make themselves heard at the board meeting. It's unfortunate that no information is provided as to why they feel it would be necessary to start school earlier than September. Why the secrecy?
Rose Roberts January 24, 2012 at 07:52 PM
When the idea was originally floated to the board in the fall, the reason given was that "other districts want to do it, and we need to share services with them." However, Parkland School District is NOT starting before Labor Day, so clearly this is not a must-do. Somehow, Parkland will be able to continue offering a quality education while on a different schedule. Also, in regard to the superintendent not being concerned about the opinions of parents: several years ago, the board studied the issue of changing the Wednesday afternoon early dismissals. ALL parents in the district were provided with a survey about this issue. Results of the study were provided. In the case of the calendar change, there has been no survey. Many parents are not even aware of the proposed change. Why has there been no move to ask the opinion of the parents? I can't deny that I am opposed to the change, but even if the survey results didn't match my opinion, at least I would know that the superintendent had heard my voice. The way it stands today, it seems that the superintendent is determined to push his agenda through the board without so much as the courtesy of involving the parents of this school district.
srodham69 January 24, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I think the original reason was to get more school days in before all the state testing in April. That way if there's a bad winter, the kids have at least a little preparation. I also seem to remember getting a survey about this a year or two ago.
thesilentmajority January 24, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Rose Roberts, you are correct. During the 2006-2007 school year parents received a survey with several questions/scenerios about changing the early dismissal Wednesday. I was an EPSD parent who received one of those surveys but is there proof to back up that all parents received that survey. According to a morning call article: http://articles.mcall.com/2007-04-24/news/3734609_1_planning-time-early-dismissals-elementary-schools "The district surveyed both parents and teachers about the proposed change, but those results were not made public during the board meeting." Do we really know that they included all parents? In 2008 EPSD did another survey, this time to gauge parents satisfaction of the district on a variety of issues(I didn't get this survey). Here they publicly stated how many surveys they sent out: http://articles.mcall.com/2008-03-20/news/4022629_1_class-size-school-students-parents "The surveys were mailed out to 1,118 families in January and 555 -- about 50 percent -- were returned, said Seidenberger" If East Penn wanted a true analysis of the district they would have sent out surveys to all the families in the district at that time. 1,118 families is a far cry in covering the 8000+- students enrolled in the district at the time. I'm not so sure we can say that the district has truly been fair with their surveys. They certainly are not trying to cherry pick their information/results, are they?
careless fills January 24, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Schools in many midwest and southern states start as early as Aug 7 to get out by May 31. Some have two full weeks for Christmas, a two day fall break in October after report cards, and a full week for spring break, making the total duration longer for 180 days. East Penn (and some other LV SDs), I believe, has about 186 student days in the teachers contract, which also complicates things for them, since they aren't fitting in just the state's minimum 180 days.
careless fills January 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Statistically speaking, the 555 sample size is more than enough to get good results if it was a truely random sample accross the district, and not selected parts. The problem is that half of the original 1,118 didn;t answer, and perhaps becuase of their disinterest, the answers could be skewed a little if those interested enuf to answer had different biases. That part is hard to avoid in any survey, even if it was sent to everyone, unless you followed up on the MIAs two or three times. In this case, it's probably not worth the cost.
thesilentmajority January 24, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Every survey response is never returned when somebody does this type of thing. It's the fact that every parent/family was NOT given the opportunity to participate.
Rose Roberts January 25, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I mean no disrespect to you, srodham69, but that was not the original reason given. In addition, the reasoning of "getting in more days before state testing" holds very little water--we're talking about THREE DAYS. If our district is in such dire straits educationally that three days will make all the difference, God help us all.

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