Tulsa Public School released the results of a recent survey about giving students a half day early release once a month.
TPS surveyed 1300 parents and teachers and 70% of their responses were in favor a half-day “early release” for all TPS students one day per month.
Early release is being considered on a district-wide basis to enable teachers, staff and administrators to have additional time for them to engage in Professional Learning Communities, where effective teaching methods and techniques can be studied and shared.
“It’s critical that teachers have collaborative time to share best classroom practices, and our parents are supportive of giving us this time,” said Dr. Keith Ballard, superintendent. “Studies show that schools engaged in PLCs for several years have shown marked improvement in math and language arts scores. We are working through the details and will make a recommendation to the board on July 16 based on this helpful input from parents.”
Other findings from the research:
- Friday is overwhelmingly the day of choice, with 66 percent of respondents favoring Fridays
- After school care on early release days is a concern, primarily among parents with elementary school age children, with 41.2 percent saying they would be more likely to support a monthly early release day if after-school care were provided free of charge
- Nearly 75 percent said they would be willing to pick their child up from school on “early release” days provided students could stay at school until the normal dismissal time
The survey was conducted from June 20 – 24, 2012. About 67 percent of participants were parents, 31.5 percent were teachers, 2.3 percent TPS administrators and 9.3 percent “other.”
An early release would mean students would have one day per month where they would be dismissed in the middle of the day, after students have had lunch. Dismissal times will be announced at a later date.
TPS executives have already determined an early release would be more cost effective for the district than the “late start” days other school districts have adopted.
Once approved, all schools in the district would have the same early-release day of the month. Specifics related to transportation and after school care on early release days are still being considered.