Early-release days drop to eight | NevadaAppeal.com
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Early-release days drop to eight

Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

The Carson City School District pared down its early-release schedule from 15 days to eight in the 2006-07 school year in response to feedback from staff that the professional development program, while beneficial, could use modification.

The new schedule continues to use 90-minute early-outs on Wednesdays, but schedules them once a month, compared with two a month in the 2005-06 school year.

The sole exception is the first month of the school year, when two early-out days are scheduled.

“We’re kind of front-loading some of those days when we think professional development does the most good, and that’s in the beginning of the school year,” said Mike Watty, associate superintendent of education services for the district.

The district Board of Trustees unanimously approved the modified plan Tuesday night. Board members did not discuss the issue, nor did any members of the public comment. Board meetings were packed last year with parents and teachers anxious to discuss the issue.

The new plan will be forwarded to the state Department of Education for approval. If approved, the 2006-07 school year will be the second year the district uses an early-release schedule for professional development.

A survey sent out in March by a joint advisory committee comprised of school staff asked district employees to respond to questions on a variety of topics, including administrative functions, job satisfaction and early-release days.

About half of the staff in the school district responded.

“It was obvious through the results we received from the survey that teachers were very passionate about the (early-release) program,” said Richard Stokes, associate superintendent of human resources for the district.

During the past year, professional development focused on a variety of topics, including a teacher-observation protocol called Teach 4 Success, which observes what teaching strategies are used in the classroom; and ETS Pulliam, which breaks down state standards into time-paced objectives.

Teachers also worked on their school-improvement plans during professional development time.

“I would say in general that (teachers said) they wanted to have more input as to the content of those days,” Stokes said.

The 2006-07 early-out days for traditional schools are: Sept. 13 and 27, Oct. 11, Nov. 15, Dec. 6, Jan. 31, Feb. 28 and April 25.

Fremont’s early-out days are: Aug. 9 and 23, Sept. 13, Nov. 15, Dec. 6, Jan. 31, Feb. 28 and April 25.

Elementary schools will let out at 1:30 p.m. on early-release days, middle schools at 12:45 p.m., and Carson High School at 12:30 p.m.

• Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

Early-release days

• The 2006-07 early-out days for traditional schools are: Sept. 13 and 27, Oct. 11, Nov. 15, Dec. 6, Jan. 31, Feb. 28 and April 25.

• Fremont’s early-out days are: Aug. 9 and 23, Sept. 13, Nov. 15, Dec. 6, Jan. 31, Feb. 28 and April 25.

• Elementary schools will let out at 1:30 p.m. on early-release days, middle schools at 12:45 p.m., and Carson High School at 12:30 p.m.