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Some Elmbrook School Board Members Question Early Release

Elmbrook's 2012-13 school calendar scheduled for a board vote Dec. 13 includes continued early release Thursdays.

Parents who would like the Elmbrook School District to end its policy of releasing students early on Thursdays for staff development will likely have to keep it on their wish list.

Early release Thursdays are poised to continue for the 2012-'13 school year, under a proposed calendar scheduled for vote by the School Board Dec. 13.

Some board members, however, have asked whether there would be a better way to schedule staff development that would be easier for working parents to handle.

At recent board and committee meetings, board members Glen Allgaier and Meg Wartman said they believed parents would prefer to have the same release time every day.

"Parents would be a lot happier," Allgaier said at a Personnel Committee meeting.

Allgaier questioned whether it would make more sense to release students the same time every day, but 15 minutes earlier than currently scheduled.

Principals say a longer block of time is needed — about two hours are available on Thursdays for teachers and administrators to discuss instructional ideas, standardized test data and other curricular issues.

"It's valued by staff and administrators," Principal Robyn Martino said.

The proposed 2012-13 school calendar does not change the Thursday early release times, which are:

  • 2:46 p.m. for elementary schools (3:43 p.m. release other days)
  • 1:34 p.m. for middle schools (2:31 p.m.)
  • 2:12 p.m. for high schools (3:09 p.m.)
  • 2:02 p.m. for Fairview South special education school (2:59 p.m.)

Other items of note in the calendar:

  • The first day of school would be Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.
  • No teachers convention expected but Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 would be a day off "to break up the quarter."
  • Thanksgiving break would be Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 through Friday, Nov. 23.
  • Holiday break would be Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 through Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2103, with classes resuming Thursday, Jan. 3.
  • Spring break would be Friday, March 29, 2013 through Friday, April 5, 2013.
  • Last day of school would be June 11, 2013.
J D December 02, 2011 at 06:56 PM
I like early release. It is nice to have that extra time with the kids, especially when the weather is nice in Fall and Spring. The kids work hard all day, that extra hour off is really nice!
Lynne Thomas December 02, 2011 at 07:34 PM
It's much better now that they have it an hour early every Thursday vs. when it was two hours early every other Thursday.
Craig Ochs December 02, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Guess nobody works 9-5 jobs anymore? My clients also "value" me working a full day on Thursdays.
Lynne Thomas December 02, 2011 at 10:40 PM
I assume we have this system because Elmbrook doesn't have the days off that many other districts do (such as Columbus Day, MLK Day, President's Day, etc.); I believe those days off often serve as teacher's institute days in other districts. So I guess the question is, would parents rather have to pick up their kids an hour early every Thursday (or send them to aftercare), or would they rather have to take an entire day off once or twice a month?

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