TPS announced today that it will proceed with an "early release" day on the last Friday of every month, beginning Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, pending board approval.
Early release is being implemented on a district-wide basis to enable teachers, staff and administrators to have additional time to engage in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), where effective teaching methods and techniques can be studied and shared.
At elementary schools, students will be dismissed at 1 p.m. on the last Friday of the month; middle school students will leave school at 1:20 p.m. and high school students at 1:50 p.m. Students will be served lunch prior to dismissal. School start times will remain as they are currently. No child care will be provided on "early release" Fridays unless the school already offers after-school care. There will be no early release in December 2012 or in May 2013.
The dates for early release for the 2012-13 school year are as follows:
Sept. 28, 2012
Jan. 25, 2013
"We are excited at the opportunity to be able to give our teachers and principals more time together, as this will help put TPS on the road to improved student achievement," said Dr. Keith Ballard, superintendent. "We are also pleased that we can make the change to early release on 'last Fridays' without having to add additional days to the school calendar. A final recommendation will be made to the TPS board on Aug. 6 and we expect to implement this plan pending their approval. Our thanks go out to the supportive parents, teachers and school administrators who favor this plan."
When surveyed in June, 70 percent of the more than 1,300 parents and teachers were supportive of a monthly early release day. Friday was the preferred day of the week by 66 percent of those who responded. The survey was conducted from June 20-24, 2012. About 67 percent of participants were parents, 31.5 percent were teachers, 2.3 percent TPS administrators and 9.3 percent "other."
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