Philly school teachers getting started earlier than ever

Students still have one more week of summer vacation.

Mike DeNardo
August 20, 2018 - 1:09 pm
James Arleth and Asmaro Gist

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Labor Day is two weeks away, but Monday is the first day of school for Philadelphia School District teachers. 

Students report to class on Monday, Aug. 27 — the earliest Philly schools have started in anyone's memory. Franklin Learning Center counselor Asmaro Gist says it didn't even seem like a short summer to him.

"I feel like I'm always in work mode anyway," he said. "I don't feel like ... I just shut down and don't do anything. I'm always in work mode — always looking for opportunities. I even email students over the summer."

FLC computer science teacher James Arleth says joining suburban and charter schools in an earlier start can only help when standardized testing rolls around.

"Moving the end date earlier, closer to when the testing is, means that we have more instructional time before the students have to take those tests," Arleth said. "And it helps them get better prepared."

Arleth made one concession to the calendar. He says he took his family vacation as soon as the school year ended in June — "so that the family vacation would be done and over with before I had to start really getting back into the teacher mindset."