Friday, June 26, 2015

Brevard County Public Schools Makes Every Wednesday An Early Release Day

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida - Although Brevard County Public Schools won a 1/2 cent sales tax last year for increased revenue to keep schools open and to make capital improvements, the School Board has reduced the hours during the regular school week for all Brevard County Public Schools by making every Wednesday an early release day in the 2014-2015 school year.

The Brevard Federation of Teachers union pushed for every Wednesday to be an early release day during their contract negotiations with the Brevard County School Board back in May.

The reduced class time on Wednesday is expected to increase demand for after school care for elementary-aged students. Before the change, after care fees generated over $5 million in revenue for Brevard Public Schools annually while expenditures to staff the after school care program are around $3.8 million.

After receiving questions from parents about the reduced classroom time, Brevard County Public Schools published the following Q&A on Thursday:

Q: What is the purpose of Early Release Wednesdays?

A: Early release Wednesdays will provide important opportunities for teachers to engage in professional learning along with collaborative and individual planning. This time is valuable, as it will support school and district efforts to continuously improve teaching and learning for all children.

Q: When will early release Wednesdays begin?

A: Wednesday, August 19, which is the second week of school. They will continue every week until school dismisses in June.

Q: How will the start and release times be affected by this change?

A: The school day start and dismissal times should remain consistent with the 2014-2015 Early Release Days. If there is a slight modification, it will be at the individual school level. Parents are encouraged to contact their school directly to determine if there is any change for the 2015-2016 school year.

Q: Will secondary schools have to modify schedules in order to satisfy state requirements for earning of credits?

High schools must provide for 67.5 hours of instruction per class in order to award credit each semester. The first semester of 2015-2016 is 88 days. To meet the requirements for single semester courses in semester 1 (PE, American Government, Economics, Sociology) the calendar has been slightly adapted. Single semester courses will meet one day after the winter break (January 5, 2016) to wrap-up coursework.

Q: What arrangements for School-Aged Child Care or secondary student supervision will be made to accommodate Early Release Wednesdays?

A: Staffing hours for School-Aged Child Care will be adjusted to accommodate the increased need for elementary school supervision at the close of the student day. A special rate for the 16 early release days only will be made available. The price for the Wednesday only will be released prior to the beginning of school start. Check with your school’s School-Aged Child Care provider after August 1 for accurate pricing.

Secondary schools may provide creative monitoring options. These will be determined at the school level and it is recommended that parents contact their schools directly to learn more about supervisory options



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