Early Release Days Should Be Reconsidered By Fayette County


Samantha Cornett, Editor in Chief

This year, Fayette County has decided to give students two early release days each semester. On the half days, students are released at 12:25, and teachers stay throughout the afternoon for professional development. On early release days, students run through their normal schedule, but classes are 35 minutes rather than 60.

Half a day of school sounds amazing on the surface, and it feels pretty great to leave early on those days. But, while having a half day with short classes and no school in the afternoon feels amazing for students in the moment, there are actually a lot of drawbacks to the system, the biggest being that it doesn’t feel as good when we are having to make up that work or complete it at home.

As a student, the half days of school seem pretty pointless to me. Only having 35 minutes for each class is not enough time to complete much of anything in a class, and this is just frustrating to everyone involved. Teachers are stressed about getting work done and students are frustrated they have to come to school at all. Getting up at a normal time for only half a day of learning feels useless. If we are already up, we might as well stay the rest of the day and get done what we need to get done in our classes.

The half days can also result in students getting a ton of homework. We have less time in class, but that doesn’t mean we have less work to do to stay on track for the semester. So, in some cases, students are given pounds of homework to complete in order to make up for lost of class time. If the student will spend the rest of their “free” afternoon doing homework at home, they might as just stay in class and completed it there. Ultimately, time with the teacher really does make a difference in the learning of students, so to have less time at school is  not beneficial to everyone.

When I think about early release days from a teacher perspective, it must also be an awful thing for them. They have to change and shorten lessons, cramming things together in order to fit into the new schedule of only 35 minutes. Then, after all that, the teachers have to stay at school, so the students having a half day means nothing positive for them.

Also, if they are a zero period teacher, they still have one full class period to deal with. This is very unhelpful to them because they have to do two completely different lessons, one for zero period and one for their regular class periods. 

The strange schedule also affects after school activities. Some extracurricular activities at the school have regularly scheduled practices on early release days. This means students have to leave school and then return about three and a half hours later for practices at four. There is no point in leaving school, only to have to return for practices. This is just annoying for the athletes. Although some coaches do not work at the school, and thus don’t have an early release day, that doesn’t make it fair to have the athletes return to school after already leaving.

Ultimately, it seems that Fayette County should reconsider the Early Release days, especially because they have so much impact on student schedules and learning.