School District of Philadelphia adds 6 half days to calendar for teacher professional development

Philly school students now have some new half days on their calendars but the rollout seemed to be anything but smooth.

"It’s pretty frustrating," says Yvonne Moore, a mom of two from South Philly.  She’s one of many parents already irritated less than one month into the school year.

Moore says she received a letter from The School District of Philadelphia changing the academic calendar.  They’re adding six half days for teacher professional development.

"They assume that we are all so available all the time and I’m working from home, but all of us aren’t," explains Moore. 

Earlier this week, we reported on the district trying to add two half days each month for the rest of the year.  At tonight’s school board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Hite admitted that the plan was rejected by parents.

"That was excessive and I understand it was excessive after hearing from families," says Hite. 

Parents we talked to say their children regressed last year while learning from home.

Stephanie Almote of West Philly explains, "It’s not the same education."  She says she wants her son in school as much as possible.

Yvonne Moore says the calendar confusion is just one more headache on top of transportation issues and a nursing shortage.  She says her daughter with special needs missed out on the first week of school because there was not a one-on-one nurse available to her. 

Moore says, "It seems like parents have to take responsibility.  They didn’t have a plan for any of this and it’s frustrating."

At today’s meeting, Dr. Hite explained that there was an asterisk on the original school calendar noting that professional development days would be added at a later date.  But still, he said,  "I sincerely apologize for confusion caused."

The first half day for professional development is scheduled for Friday, November 19.



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