School will start after Labor Day again, but vote postponed on another calendar date

Mike DeNardo
December 14, 2018 - 12:28 pm
School District of Philadelphia

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia school students will go back to starting school after Labor Day in 2019. 

As expected, the school board approved a proposal to start the 2019-20 school year on Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day.  

This year for the first time, the School District of Philadelphia started in August, but it wound up with a week's worth of half-days because of extreme heat.  

RELATED: As heat index rises, city officials call school conditions 'inhumane,' suggest state funding

Unexpectedly, however, the board delayed a vote Thursday on the 2020-21 calendar over parents' concerns about a proposed two-week winter break.  

Parent Cecelia Thompson questioned the board: What about children who depend on having breakfast and lunch at school? What about the expense for working parents?

"If you have more than one child, now you've got to pay day care," she added. "Child care is extremely expensive."

District Chief of Schools Shawn Bird said the recommendation was made after parents in an online survey said they wanted a longer winter break.

"That was in response to over 6,000 respondents on the survey and that was their biggest desire, time off for Christmas break," said Bird.

Bird and Superintendent William Hite said while the district reconsiders the calendar, it'll investigate city programs for activities and meals for children during the winter break.  

There's no word on when the board will take up the calendar issue again.