Poll: Abolish East Penn's Early Wednesdays?

Elementary schools in East Penn School District end their day on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. Patch wants to know how East Penn parents feel about it.

On Monday, schools in opened for the 2012-2013 school year, and yesterday, East Penn elementary school parents experienced their first Wednesday 1:30 p.m. dismissal – a Wednesday dismissal time that will carry through for the entire school year. 

The rationale for this practice has become the stuff of legend among parents in the district, with the most commonly held belief being that the short school day on Wednesday gives elementary school teachers the much-needed “prep time” that they need to do their jobs.

Also of folklore status is a rumored survey of undetermined age supposedly conducted on East Penn elementary school parents who said they are in favor of an abridged school day on Wednesday. 

For students in PM kindergarten, this unique schedule amounts to one hour of classroom time on Wednesday. For working parents, the 1:30 p.m. dismissal would seem to create a childcare conundrum.

If you are a current parent of an East Penn elementary school student or have children who have aged out of the elementary school classroom in East Penn, Patch wants to hear what you think of the 1:30 p.m. Wednesday dismissal. Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments below.

thesilentmajority August 31, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I believe the last day of school is June 10th. The school year calendar is posted at the district website http://www.eastpenn.k12.pa.us/Public%20Forms/_pubforms/2012-13%20approved%20school%20calendar.pdf
Deb Stevens August 31, 2012 at 01:57 AM
My understanding is they started a week earlier so the school year can end a week earlier than usual. About 2 years ago, the kids were in school until the 22nd or 23rd of June because of snow make up days. ( I remember because my daughter's bday is the 22nd and this was the first time ever she was in school on that day). Most districts in the Valley start the week before Labor Day. My question is: Why a day off tomorrow (Friday before Labor Day)? It's not a holiday. Isn't a 3 day weekend enough? In regards to the earlier dismiss on Wednesdays (although my children are no longer in elementary school)....I would like to know the reason behind it. It was a major inconvenience for my family. Having 2 children with special needs, day care was not an option. Also, If you add up the time, 78 hours of classroom time is lost each school year. That's over 2 weeks of missed school ! I would love to see the school year measured in required hours, not days.
thesilentmajority August 31, 2012 at 03:36 AM
I believe that the scheduled last day of school was June 12th last year. This year the last day of school is scheduled to be June 10th. They may have started a week earlier but they are not ending a week earlier. It appears they only trimmed the end of the school year by two days.
thesilentmajority August 31, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Ms Marangos, I don't believe that the survey East Penn did back in the 2006-2007 school year in regards to the early dismissal Wednesdays was folklore or a rumor. As a parent who had a child at East Penn during that school year, I received and completed one of those surveys. I believe the options presented on the survey for parents were keep the 1:30 Wed. early dismissal as is or opt to eliminate the early dismissal and move the start of school to 9:15am instead of the current 8:55am. I don't believe there was an option to end the 1:30 Wed. and keep the 8:55am start. The only rumor from that survey were the parent results. I don't believe the district ever publicly shared those results with the parents in a general forum such as the school website. I only found out about the results through the board meeting minutes after the fact. In those minutes they revealed teacher results(they weren't for it) but they did not reveal parent results. So the rumored parent results were just to keep it as is because it was believed that most parents(those for or against early dismissal)did not like the 9:15am start that went along with it. The elimination of this practice became a very complicated issue that included increasing staff at a cost of $472,500, changing the middle school starting time, loss of teacher planning time, contractual obligations with the teachers, etc. http://www.eastpennsd.org/School%20Board/_boardminutes/2007/april232007.pdf
CM September 02, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I enjoy and appreciate the early dismissal on Wednesdays just as I did when I was a kid! I don't think it is a bad thing to offer our kids a little more time to be a kid. Many of todays children are up and out the door in early AM hours to be rushed from one place to another over loaded with constant stimulation. Down time is not a bad thing. Play time is not a bad thing. Free time is not a bad thing. Time to play with friends or be physically active instead of sitting at a desk behind a book is not a bad thing. I don't care what other school districts do. East Penn is a leader not a follower.


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