TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Some Shaler teachers ask for earlier start of year

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
By Bethany Hofstetter
Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

While the Shaler Area School Board approved the 2013-14 school year calendar last month, some teachers are asking the board to reconsider.

Last week, high school teachers Dennis Dudley and Paul Stadelman spoke at the board's Committee of the Whole work meeting to “try to encourage a dialogue to revise” the schedule, specifically by starting the school year before Labor Day.

“This is entirely academic,” said Dudley, chair of the science department. “This has nothing to do with SAES (Shaler Area Education Association, the teachers' collective bargaining unit) or what's going on in the district. We're trying to make sure we're academically rigorous.”

Dudley argued that the approved calendar, which starts classes on Sept. 3, puts the teachers and students at a disadvantage to prepare for statewide academic testing, including the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and Keystone exams, in May.

“We want our students in class for as much time as possible,” he said. “We believe it's academically unsound to start a schedule after Labor Day.”

When the administration presented calendar options to the school board in February, Superintendent Wes Shipley said it was extremely challenging this year because several holidays fall on Wednesdays, including Christmas and New Year's Day, and the PSSA testing window is March 17 to April 11 and April 28 to May 9.

“Making a calendar is not as easy as choosing a start and end date,” Shipley said in February.

Of the two calendar options initially proposed to SAES and the school board, one started classes on Aug. 26 and one started classes on Sept. 3. The school board approved the latter with classes ending June 12.

“Looking at the calendar in the way it is, we're working as hard as we can … before the May deadlines,” said Stadelman, chair of the math department. “Getting us as many days (prior) to those tests is prudent.”

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read North Hills

  1. Pittsburgh Youth Chorus training programs have openings in Hampton, Upper St. Clair
  2. Richland girl to hit the Benedum Center stage in ‘Gypsy’
  3. Head of Ross business group seeks additional members
  4. Hampton officials OK church plans for parking spaces, recreational field off Duncan Avenue
  5. Studying abroad lets Pine-Richland junior mix love of travel with learning
  6. Online series recognizes Hampton as top-notch school
  7. Shaler detective honored for work with school district
  8. McCandless teen to go from CLO’s ‘Gypsy’ to Comtra’s ‘Honk!’
  9. North Allegheny grad nets scholarships at national competition
  10. Vincentian boys, girls basketball camps plant seeds for success