The approved by a vote of 7-1 at last night’s school board meeting a 2012-2013 school district calendar that will send East Penn students .
The district calendar made official Monday night had been available for public review for about two weeks, according to East Penn Superintendent of Schools Thomas L. Seidenberger, who said his office had not received a complaint about the calendar from the community or from staff during that time.
School board member Julian Stolz, who said he personally doesn’t care when school starts, was the lone vote against the 2012-2013 calendar as proposed. He said he had been approached my numerous parents asking the board to wait a year to implement the pre-Labor Day start to give them time to prepare for such a drastic calendar change.
School Board President Charles Ballard said that he thinks six months notice regarding the official start date for school is more than enough time for families to get their plans in order. “There will never be enough notice for certain factions of the public,” he said. “But, there are district policies for handling this. Parents can apply for education vacations even during the school year.”
Before the vote, school board member Alan Earnshaw spoke in favor of the proposed district calendar because of the earlier end to the school year, rather than the much-talked-about earlier start date.
“This is a challenging issue,” Earnshaw said. “It changes a long-standing practice in the district. We all know what it is like in mid-June. The kids check out. They are not focused and the schools become a glorified childcare service for the students in the district.”
Earnshaw also pointed to the benefit of having the school year end closer to high school graduation and the value of the extra week of teaching time prior to state-mandated testing.
The official 2012-2013 East Penn School District calendar approved Monday night kicks off the school year on Aug. 27, 2012, and makes the last day of class June 10, 2013. The last day of school would bump out to June 13, 2013 if the district were to use all of its snow days next year.
School board member Michael Policano was absent from last night's meeting.