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Letter Writer Questions the actions of East Penn’s Superintendent and Board

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Photos from LV Commentator Photo Files/Editor

 

Superintendent Schilder      Emmaus High School         Carol Allen

 

Lehigh Valley Commentator

P.O.Box 596

Emmaus, PA 18049

 

Dear Editor,

I have attended the East Penn School Board meetings and have some concerns that seem to have fallen on deaf ears. When Board member Carol Allen brought up the PAYS (Pennsylvania Youth Survey) for grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 at the September 25, 2017 meeting, I was quite concerned about that survey. I was able to acquire a copy of the over 200+ questions and was shocked to read some of them. As a parent, I know I would not want my children answering those invasive questions. Truly an invasion of privacy and absolutely a violation of HIPPA (personal medical information).

At Monday’s meeting October 9, 2017, one of the other Board Members brought someone connected with Penn State to praise the PAYS survey. and one parent who said she likes it. When Carol Allen reported on the concerns she had, if this will be put on computer or if there will be a bar code on those surveys that are supposed to be anonymous, she asked Superintendent Schilder if she could see the survey itself. He flatly said, “ NO”. I was shocked.  He has to answer to the Board, not the Board to him. This has happened before. His refusal to allow Ms. Allen, an elected official, to enter the building to observe a Summer School orientation. When the vote was taken for the PAYS Survey Ms. Allen was the only one who voted NOT to have it given and Chris Donetelli abstained because he wanted more time to consider it after looking into the survey itself.

Earlier this year, a Climate Survey (Its not about Climate Change either) included parents, students and staff) was conducted at the cost of $16,000. to the taxpayer. How many surveys about drugs, etc. do we need? How much time should be taken from students when they could be learning?

Parents need to come to these meetings. I have asked that they be video taped so parents could watch at home. Not sure when that will happen.

Another thing the Board wants to do is to do away with half-day kindergarten. That would add $1.0+ million to our already overburdened tax payers.  The only efficiency I see is the elimination of the mid day bus runs for the half day kindergarten students.  Some of the reasons for eliminating half day  were “the implementation of meaningful content”.  I ask what meaningful content???

Parents should have a choice if they want their child in kindergarten full day or half day.

Another reason was “ To recoup more students from private and parochial schools,” I ask why?

Let the children be children. They will have to go full days to school soon enough.

Another reason parents and even grandparents should attend these meetings.

Respectfully submitted

Barbara Tantaros,  Emmaus, PA

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