​The school district is drawing up its calendar for the 2016-207 school right now.   And once again it plans on including only 2 snow days in the calendar.

I must confess that I don’t understand this kind of planning.   Over the last 7 years, we have needed anywhere between 3 and 11 snow days each year.  Why, then, do we only plan for 2?  Doing so makes the school calendar less realistic.  It makes it harder for parents and teachers to plan family trips.  It increases student absences because so many snow “make up” days need to be called at the last minute.

The district made a significant improvement to the school year calendar last year by specifying in advance what holidays would be taken away to make up for excess snow days.  Planning in advance for the number of snow days we are most likely to have, rather than pretending we will only have 2, would be a further improvement.

Consider this analogy: What would you tell your kid if they planned for 20 minutes of homework each night, even though they had always needed at least 30 minutes, and sometimes as much as 110 minutes, to finish every other school night for the past several months?  I would tell my kids they need to alter their plans!

I was not able to convince district administrators or other school board members last year to increase the number of snow days to a more realistic number, but I will try again.  I expect the board will set the 2016-2017 school calendar at its meeting next Monday (March 14).  What do you think?  Please consider sharing your views in the comments below, or with Assistant Superintendent Kristen Campbell (kcampbell@eastpennsd.org) and the entire school board (schoolboard@eastpennsd.org).

4 thoughts to “Improving the School District Calendar

  • Brandi Blose

    My belief is that we don’t need more than 2 built-in days due to having other designated snow make up days.

    While looking at next year’s calendar, I would very much like to see the board schedule an employee development day in January by moving one of the three ED days before school in August, and move the traditional March ED day to April, after PSSAs. Implementing new initiatives and planning would be more effective with three ED days throughout the year as opposed to two.

    Thanks, as always, for soliciting community input!

    • Janna Gallaghet

      Brandi, May I suggest an employee development day or two days during the summer monthswhen the students are on vacation. Summer seems like a perfect time to plan for the upcoming year. Thoughts??

    • Janna Gallagher

      Brandi, perhaps an employee development day can be scheduled during the summer months when the students are on vacation. It seems to me the summer would be a perfect time to plan for the upcoming year. Thoughts?

  • Pam Moore

    Allentown School District has had 5 snow days built into the school calendar for years and it works! The students rarely have to make up a snow day. Last year might have been the first time, in a long time, that the students had to make up days.


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