In Central Maine, many schools have regular early release days.  The kids get out between one and two hours early on a certain day every week.  For example, Augusta schools release their elementary aged students at 1 PM every Wednesday.

The concept of weekly early release days is fairly new for Augusta, actually.  Of course, they have always had the occasional scheduled early release day that are used for staff development, but the 2021 / 2022 school year is the first year that every Wednesday was an early release day.

These days are used for the professional development of staff.  During the time, they hold meetings and take classes that further their education.  The time is not meant to be used as planning time.

Now, it looks as though the Augusta School District may be re-evaluating the Wednesday early release days.  On Thursday, February 17th, a robo-call was made to many Augusta school parents.  The recorded messaged asked parents and guardians to fill out a survey on the district’s website.

Questions on the survey include: Do you believe early release time for staff professional development is important and Have you had challenges with the early release schedule this year?

At the bottom of the survey were a series of alternatives to the current Wednesday early release days.  For example, keeping things the same, limiting the number of early release days to once or twice a month, or moving the early release days to Friday.

You can take the survey HERE.  The deadline is March 4th, 2022.

Personally, as the parent of two young girls (aged 8 and 11), I am a big fan of the early release days.  It gives me a few more hours that I can spend with the two of them.  I feel very fortunate to have flexibility at work to be able to cut out to pick them up.  However, depending on the age of your children and what your work schedule is like, I can imagine it is a real pain.

What are your thoughts?  Let us know by sending us a message through our app or on Facebook.

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