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East Penn Schools Will Begin Before Labor Day

East Penn Board of School Directors approve 2012-2013 district calendar by a 7-1 vote at Monday night's school board meeting.

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.

Tommy boy February 15, 2012 at 05:05 PM
When are we going to have a discussion about making sure our students are in school? I know students lose days reviewing material for a student who is not present during school because their family decides to take a vacation during the school year. I know a change of schedule is tough but I know that students are being pulled from classes all the time and therefore it slows the class down for all the students that are present. We need to make education an us problem not just a school problem. We have to take the time to sit with our own students and work with them on their school work. We need to make sure they know how important it is for them to be at school. We need to provide the correct example to them so they understand what will be expected of them when they enter the work force. It is time we all stop blaming others and we take care of our own .
Effe Draklellis February 16, 2012 at 04:08 AM
I agree with what Dr. Earnshaw said about us students checking out, but we check out MUCH EARLIER. I'm currently a junior at EHS and I can assure you that most of us tune out around the start of May. This calendar will be met with a lot of opposition from students in the classrooms, especially at the high school. My peers can be very immature and spiteful and I normally can't stand it but I'll actually agree with them on this. Knowing that the first day of my senior year was going to be in August didn't make me too happy, but I thought that if we will end at the end of May- like most schools in the area that start in August- that it would be okay. I am livid about this for many obvious reasons. It's my senior year! My summer will be shortened and as much as I actually somewhat enjoy school, the thought of me having to rot in a classroom in August makes my skin crawl. There is no real need for school to start a week early. It's unnecessary to give the teachers an extra week of teaching time when the pace we're learning at is fine and if anything, a little dragging. So many people have vacation plans near the end of summer and will miss the first week of school anyway. The first five days of class aren't even days where we are taught any material of value! I believe that starting school a week early is pointless. There was no real threat to our education that would mean we have to start a week earlier. This wasn't a well-thought-out decision in my opinion.
Poor Underclassmen February 18, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Effe is absolutely correct. Why hadn't anyone considered the opinion of the student? As a graduating senior, one would dthink that this plan doesn't affect me. However, I have three other siblings in the district who will be missing school due to the fact that they will be moving me into a university that is 6 hours away. Obviously, this is not the case for everyone. Typically, a senior who is 110 days away from graduation would laugh at the underclassmen in this unfortunate situation; I feel for them! I could understand if they were being released for summer vacation in May, or had longer breaks (could this be clarified? Does anyone know how long their breaks will be?) We already go to school for almost a week over the maximum 180 days, with minimal time off and 2 snow days (that we have managed to FAR surpass in my last four years in high school). Personally, I'm so glad to get away from this. In New York, the breaks are long and well-deserved. Not only are they in school for an hour less a day, but the two weeks for Christmas is the greatest gift any highschooler could ask for. Emmaus is so strict, school has begun to feel like confinement: we wake up at 5 to get on buses and leave our homes at 6:30 so that we could be in our homeroom seat at 7:23, and we are locked in until 2:25. Afterward, we stay until all hours of the night practicing sports or participating in many extra-curriculars, and we STILL manage to top academic charts. Many students even go through their day
Poor Underclassmen February 18, 2012 at 03:57 AM
without a lunch! As I digress on the many other issues of our district, I'll bring the focus back to this plan - starting school 5 days earlier honestly will not benefit test scores in the least. What will? Students who focus more in class because they get an adequate amount of sleep at night...and teachers who care a little more.
watermantimes5 April 28, 2012 at 12:44 AM
I would like to know what our last day of school would be?? the middle of June? If so, then why are we starting a week earlier? EPSD already goes over the 180 days that is required. And just to add a note: when I was a kid in EPSD we had 5 snow days...why are we reduced to 2 days now...some years we use them and some years we don't but it would be nice to bring back the 5 snow days just in case some winters there is a lot of snow.

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