Lehigh Valley

East Penn students to attend school all day Wednesdays

EMMAUS, Pa. - Some East Penn School District elementary school parents will be pleased to learn students will soon attend school all day Wednesdays.

The East Penn School Board Monday evening approved the change to the elementary school schedule by a vote of 9-0.

Students will attend school 9 a.m.-3:20 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning in the fall.

Melissa Huffer of Macungie, who has two children attending Willow Lane Elementary School, urged the school board to vote in favor of the proposal.

"I ask you to please support the change," she said. "Overall, I feel this change will benefit all the students in the district."

Macungie resident Misty Armstrong spoke in favor of eliminating half day Wednesdays.

Armstrong's three children also attend Willow Lane Elementary School

"I am thrilled it is finally being considered," she said. "It's time for our students to come first."

Ryan Conrod of Wescosville echoed Armstrong, asserting that the benefits of full day Wednesdays outweigh the disadvantages.

Board member Lynn Donches said delivering a full day of education to elementary school students on Wednesdays has been a long-standing request.

"I'm glad we're able to bring this to the table," she said.

School board President Alan Earnshaw said although there will be parents opposed to the change, there are tangible benefits, such as more classroom time allotted to the individual student.

"Really, I don't think we're going to have a solution that meets everyone's needs," he said. "The positives do outweigh the negatives."

Board member Charles H. Ballard lauded Assistant Superintendent Kristen Campbell for keeping the proposal within the $70,000 range.

"Ultimately, our motivation was to increase instructional time for students and provide the teachers with the preparation time in their contract," Campbell said.

Also during the meeting, Emmaus High School and Shoemaker Elementary School were presented with proclamations from Gov. Tom Corbett for academic excellence for achieving over 90 percent on the 2012-13 school performance profile.

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