Early release will benefit Aiken County teachers

  • Follow Metro

AIKEN --- Aiken County schools will begin their early release program Wednesday to give teachers time for staff development.

The idea of letting students leave early on the first Wednesday of every month was piloted a couple of years ago at Busbee Elementary School, A.L. Corbett Middle School and Wagener-Salley High School.

Area 5 Assistant Superintendent Randy Stowe said the school district is acknowledging the importance of professional development.

"Business, industry or any large organization provides ongoing professional development to keep their staff members effective and efficient," he said.

The two extra hours are effective because teachers aren't worn out from the day, said A.L. Corbett Principal Debbie Bass.

"It gives us an opportunity to work from a common understanding because it's framed by our school improvement plan," she said. "This planning allows us to work as an entire faculty."

Individual planning is built into daily schedules, but that time is limited, and afternoons are booked with parent conferences or planning for the next day, administrators say.

One improvement at A.L. Corbett is better interdisciplinary support, Dr. Bass said.

"Regardless of the area they're certified to teach, they understand how each other's content area supports what they're doing," she said.

In Area 5, Dr. Stowe said, development centers on improving weaknesses, based on self-evaluations by the school.

"Districtwide, the emphasis will be on literacy. At the middle and high school level, we're working on reading and writing across all curriculums," he said.

At the end of Wednesday's session, teachers will be given a survey for principals and district officials to use in planning the rest of the year.

Dr. Bass said she encourages parents to make good use of the time for medical appointments.

Teachers even have a plan for students whose parents don't pick them up, Dr. Stowe said.

"We'll take care of any students that somehow miss a bus," he said. "It wouldn't be different than any other day."

Reach Julia Sellers at (706) 823-3424 or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com

EARLY RELEASE DAYS

Sept. 2

Oct. 7

Nov. 4

Dec. 2

Jan. 6

Feb. 3

March 3

May 5

Comments (13) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
momma mia
2
Points
momma mia 09/01/09 - 06:11 am
0
0
This should help improve the

This should help improve the quality of education for an already suffering public school system.

AGR354
7
Points
AGR354 09/01/09 - 07:18 am
0
0
We are taking students out of

We are taking students out of the classroom, that never benefits students

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 09/01/09 - 09:41 am
0
0
That two hours can be equal

That two hours can be equal to all the wasted time of recess, music, art, P.E., eating lunch, taking a nap (PreK and Kindergarden), and other NON academic activities that happen throughout the school day.

6Actual
0
Points
6Actual 09/01/09 - 10:09 am
0
0
"At the middle and high

"At the middle and high school level, we're working on reading and writing across all curriculums," If students can't be taught these basic skills in the instructional time provided how can less time in class possibly benefit them?

corgimom
36352
Points
corgimom 09/01/09 - 03:17 pm
0
0
Scoobynews, you obviously

Scoobynews, you obviously haven't been in a kindergarten lately. Rest time for kindergarteners isn't a waste, it's a necessity. Or do you think that little 5 year olds should go at full speed for 7 straight hours?

SeniorMom
0
Points
SeniorMom 09/01/09 - 04:22 pm
0
0
This looks good on paper and

This looks good on paper and that is all educators ever care about. It doesn't matter if it works, it is a new initiative and that is what they live for.

workingmom
0
Points
workingmom 09/01/09 - 04:31 pm
0
0
It's amazing at how many

It's amazing at how many negative comments are directed toward educators when something is put into place to improve learning for all students. Teachers need to keep informed of best practices in education just as doctors need to be informed and trained in the newest information in the medical field. Teachers do this to improve learning. Time is needed to collaborate with each other and review teaching practices, test scores and identify areas of weakness. This helps them decide on the best ways to teach their students.

ChiggerHillMan
3
Points
ChiggerHillMan 09/01/09 - 05:06 pm
0
0
I agree with you up to a

I agree with you up to a point. Get the best information there is to improve learning in the schools. But when is it up to the students to have the proper attitude and respect for the teachers to actually try to learn something and to the parents to see that they do? The article talks about working on reading and writing across all curriculums. Back in the day if you didn't have a good enough handle on reading and writing to do your work by the time you were in high school, then you weren't in high school. Back then if you didn't learn the work necessary to advance to the next grade, you didn't. You failed the grade and took it again next year. If it bruised your little ego, so what? You worked a little harder and maybe a little smarter next year, and maybe your parents paid a little closer attention to how you progressed the next year. I knew how my parents would take it if I failed a grade, so I just didn't fail any. I wasn't at the top of my class when I graduated, but I WAS in the class and I DID graduate.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 09/01/09 - 05:15 pm
0
0
It is a waste of time due to

It is a waste of time due to the mere reasoning behind it. There are already multiple days the teachers have for doing what needs done, and the students lose out those days. Now, let's waste more time and resources because they think it's a good idea. And wth??" Dr. Bass said she encourages parents to make good use of the time for medical appointments."
What's the difference?? And who is she to encourage anything? It's not a good thing to schedule appts during class because?? And yet, they lose time anyway once a month? (more for work days) So that *encouragement* means nothing.

workingmom
0
Points
workingmom 09/01/09 - 06:28 pm
0
0
ChiggerHillMan, I agree with

ChiggerHillMan, I agree with your post, but unfortunately students today are not taught as you and I were. We are dealing with students who have had their attention spans shortened from too much TV and video games and who live in a world of instant gratification. I do not teach as I did 5, 15, or 15 years ago. As times change, so do the students and teaching methods. Pommom, teachers do not get multiple days off while the students lose days. The school year is 180 days and teacher work days are added on to that number. Those work days are usually taken up by staff development training or meetings. I can sympathize with working parents since it does require making arrangements for their children for a few hours per month. I would support this program and hope that other school systems will observe Aiken county to see if their students and teachers benefit from it.

pommom38
1496
Points
pommom38 09/01/09 - 06:47 pm
0
0
Thank you for pointing that

Thank you for pointing that fact out working mom. I, along with others may not have known that workdays are additional, not taking away from the actual school year days.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 09/01/09 - 07:20 pm
0
0
No Corgimom 5 year olds

No Corgimom 5 year olds should not be learning for 7 hours straight. In fact they shouldn't be in school for 7 hours. If you take a look at history, school use to be a place to learn not a day care. We have went from teaching children the basics - ABC and 123s to now feeding them breakfast, lunch, and even after school care. My reply was in response to the person complaining about not having enough learning time. I think children today have plenty of learning time. It should be no more than 4 hours. Children BURN OUT after 4 hours of instruction. So how do we make up the other 3 hours? We provided services that can for ONE day a month be done without. I don't see it causing any 5 years old from having a melt down because they get to leave school early by two hours.

SeniorMom
0
Points
SeniorMom 09/01/09 - 08:58 pm
0
0
It is not that I am being

It is not that I am being negative about teachers, but most know how to do their job and a new program isn't going to help. I find it strange that you interviewed Dr. Bass as you must not have looked at AL Corbett's state report card ratings. They are about to be taken over by the state department of education.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs