Washington School District

Washington School District

Washington School District officials are studying implementing a districtwide early out day for professional learning.

If approved, students would be released early one day a week or month, so teachers can collaborate.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer discussed the idea with school board members Monday night.

VanLeer said as the district seeks to fully implement its professional learning communities, the early out day would be beneficial. She also said the salary and benefits committee are recommending such a schedule.

“The staff needs common time to work together,” said VanLeer, noting that Union School District and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, as well as many other districts, currently have early out days for professional development.

“This is a time for teachers to develop assessments, analyze data . . . and begin to implement the state common core standards,” she said.

VanLeer did not ask the board to approve the concept yet, but said she will be coming back to them with a formal proposal.

Several school board members asked if the early out days would replace the late start days at the middle school and high school and VanLeer said yes. On the late start days, staff collaborate early in the morning while classes begin a little later.

Students who arrive early on those days often mingle in the gym during that time which requires supervision, VanLeer said, so not all staff can utilize the time for professional learning.

Board member Dan Contarini said he could support an early out day, especially if it’s in lieu of a late start.

VanLeer said no decision has been made yet on whether to release students early one day a week or one day a month. She said dismissal would be at least one hour earlier on those days.

“We’re looking at several options,” she told the board.

Scott Byrne, another board member, said he has personally received a lot of complaints about the late start days at the secondary level so the new plan may work out better for families.