Teacher Workdays vs Early Releases: Pros and Cons

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Picture of Leesville Road high school calendar for the month of March. There is one teacher workday and one early release day through the month. (Photo courtesy of Davis Dutton.)

The 2022-2023 school year has brought more early releases from school rather than having lots of breaks, random days off and teacher workdays throughout Wake County High Schools.

The reason for this is because if there are early releases then the school days won’t have to be made up.

Also students can still get work done in their classes rather than missing a whole day of school and having to make that day up.

More Early Releases days

Even though having more early releases comes with many benefits, they also come with some drawbacks especially, for some of the teachers and admin.

For instance, some teachers and admin would rather have teacher workdays because the teachers can catch up on grading and planning for their students, teachers can’t do this on early release days because they have to be with their students half the day and have no time to catch up on grading and planning.. Also the admin can focus on the school and other points of focus rather than having to make sure students are safe and are not doing anything that they aren’t supposed to on campus.

A few more cons of having early releases is that it messes up the eating schedules of students that have lunch. This is a big problem because some students do not have parent figures at home that are able to give them food whenever they want and eat at unusual times of the day.

Another example of why early releases provide bad outcomes is that if a student’s parents are at work, then that student has no way home. Theoretically then there is no way for that student to get to their house especially if they live far from their house. This is one of the major problems especially with some of the bus routes not having a driver. This then causes more problems because if a parent is at work they can’t pick their child up, and if there is no bus driver for that student’s bus route then there is no way home for that student. Then that student has to then stay at school until they can be taken home. This is a problem because from what should have been the student leaving at around 12 pm the student has to then stay either at school or walk somewhere else and wait to be picked up.

Even though early releases from school are better than a full regular day at school in a student’s mind, most students would rather have teacher workdays.

Geoffrey Travagline, teacher at Leesville Road High School, said, “On teacher work days I feel like we get more done, and it’s more relaxing. It’s at a better pace and on a teacher’s work day we are still here on time and get out halfway through but you have other things to do and it’s a day of the week as opposed to being able to start at your own time and being able to be more relaxed… I do have quite a few meetings on both teacher work days and early release days but typically more on an early release day since we are already here, so then the afternoon will normally be stacked with meetings or professional development or something to do.” 

One of the reasons that students would rather have more teacher workdays than early releases is it lets students sleep in and not have to be in class by 7:25, and then have to leave within five hours. 

Molly Syer, sophomore, said, “I prefer teacher work days rather than early release days because they give me more time to sleep in and recharge my academic and social battery…I think early release days are beneficial because it allows us to have a longer summer break and winter break which I like alot…I’m productive on early release day because I’m more entertained.”

Students think it is pointless to go to school for 5 hours when they would rather be sleeping in, working or doing something else productive.

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