Early release days may be coming to an end in Manatee County schools. The school board discussed the idea during a workshop Tuesday but made no decision
For the last five years, the school district has ended the day almost two hours early on what has become known as “Wacky Wednesdays.” The move was designed to give teachers more time to plan coursework and take advantage of training opportunities. The results have been mixed.
Manatee ranks 47th out of Florida’s 67 school districts for FCAT performance. Some say that’s an indication that early release days don’t work.
The schedule can be a problem for parents who have to rearrange work and after school care one day a week. There are also concerns about what some of the kids are up to during their extra free time.
While teachers have said they like the additional time for planning, some complain that the training sessions provided by the district aren’t suited for everyone.
It’s common for districts to have occasional early release days, but only a handful in Florida have them on a weekly basis, like Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
The findings will be shared with the Manatee School Board, which will decide on June 11 whether to end early release days.