PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia School Board will vote on a plan this week to dismiss students early every other Friday for the rest of the year to give teachers professional development time. Many parents tell Fox 29 News that they’re just learning about the proposal and they were caught off-guard.
"I haven’t seen anything come out about it," says parent, Thomas Rosenthal of Queen Village. "At a minimum, I think he [Supt. Dr. Hite] should send a letter out to parents letting them know that this is taking place."
The topic quickly became the talk of the playground at 4th and Catharine Streets on Monday afternoon.
"It’s absurd," says Blair Pomerantz, a mother of two boys who attend Meredith Elementary School. "I’ve already lost so much trust with the District to make good decisions for our kids and I just can’t believe we are fighting to keep our kids in school five days."
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Pomerantz says she sent a letter to the District urging against the modified schedule, arguing that students are still catching up from a year of virtual school and that this change would be very disruptive.
"I don’t know how they expect parents who work to suddenly take every half-day off."
FOX 29 reached out to the School District of Philadelphia for clarification about what prompted this proposal and if there would be after-care options for students. A spokesperson responded saying, "This item will be addressed at the school board meeting on Thursday."
Rosenthal says that parents need answers.
"I fully support teachers but if this is not something the union and the teachers want, then why are we doing it?" asks Rosenthal.