Finally, Summer Vacation for Abington Heights Students

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SOUTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- While many districts across the area have been out for summer for a couple of weeks, Abington Heights' last day was Tuesday, all because of snow days combined with a strike by teachers that could happen again next school year.

It was a bittersweet goodbye for students and teachers at South Abington Elementary School on the final day of classes for the school year. It has been an abnormally long year for everyone but Colleen Wettstein is happy with how her daughter performed with so many snow days and a teachers' strike that stretched the year to June 26.

"I think she handled it well. What are you going to do? Roll with the punches," Wettstein said.

Abington Heights teachers have been working without a contract for a couple of years and went on strike at the beginning of this school year.

Winter weather was the other factor.

"At least with the strike days it made up, they had really nice weather during the strike, too. There's the good and the bad."

Now that's school's out for summer, it's about 70 days until students report back for the next school year, teachers and staff as well, but the teachers' union has planned to strike again come September 10. That will mean another break for students unless those negotiations pan out.

"I'm only going to be a junior next year, at least I'm not a senior. I hope they don't strike, I hope they push it back or decide they're not going to," said Grace Gilmore.

Twins Grace and Alison Gilmore are going into their junior year at Abington Heights High School and wished they could have enjoyed these past few weeks of June out of school.

"It's been frustrating because as soon as we got into June, I just wanted to be done," Alison Gilmore said.

"It is late. It was kind of hard to get through the school year with snow days the strike and all, finals, midterms, Keystones and all. We made it, we're here," Grace Gilmore added.

Students are scheduled back at Abington Heights on September 5.

But without a contract, the teachers' union has planned to strike again the second week of the school year.


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