Early Release Wednesday No More for Bradenton Students

While the early release schedule was popular among teachers and a majority of parnts surveyed, the school board did away with it Monday night.

For the past five years early release Wednesday — the day of the week school children get to go home early — has been fraught with contention.

And now it seems, getting rid of the day that gives teachers extra preparation and training time and allows parents an afternoon for doctors' and dentists' appointments, won't meet with overwhelming enthusiasm.

On Monday night the school board decided to end the program because it had not proved to help teachers improve student performance. While surveys showed that a majority of parents and teachers actually preferred an early release day once a week, the school board voted to end the practice.

The move will mean an extra 35 minutes of clasroom time for students.

The Herald-Tribune reported that MCGonegal believes the change is necessary.

McGonegal said with a new tougher curriculum being phased in over the next few years, students would benefit from more teaching time. "We need more time with the students, so that's a welcome change," McGonegal said.

Manatee County studnts will begin and end classes on a consistent schedule five days a week beginning in August when students return from their summer break.

The vote came during a busy agenda and on the same night that the school board voted 4-1 to renew Superintendent Tim McGonegal's contract for another year.


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