Wednesday Early Release Days No Longer A Possibility

New potential calendars presented

Carrie Jones

BAR HARBOR—Wednesday early release days are off the table School Superintendent Michael Zboray told members of the Conners Emerson School Board during their meeting in the Conners Emerson art room Monday afternoon.

“Weekly early release is no longer a tool in the toolbox,” Zboray said.

In early February, Superintendent Michael Zboray made the case for a weekly early release day, which would decrease the school hours in that day by 90 minutes. Zboray presented the idea at a January AOS 91 board meeting and then discussed the possibility with each of the island’s school boards, excluding the high school board.

The calendar showing those early release days was to have been presented at an AOS meeting on March 2. It showed releasing elementary school students district wide 90 minutes early on 24 Wednesdays.  So, instead of a 3 p.m. release, they would have been let out at 1:30. This translated to 15.5 less hours than they currently attend school throughout the year. The weeks without the proposed early release Wednesdays were where there was already a holiday or professional development day and on the second day of school.

There was quite a bit of feedback from parents that they did not support the plan.

The proposal was to release students early approximately once a week so that the entire staff could use that 90 minutes to work in teams to meet the individual needs of students that might need extra help. These students aren’t necessarily part of special education, but would benefit from individualized attention that is covered under MTSS, a program that involves multi-tiered systems of support. This is a state policy.

The idea received negative feedback from many members of the public and some members of different island school boards. It also received support from administrators and many teachers.

“I think people were thinking and understanding the need that was being presented by the teachers for the students,” School Board Member Misha Mytar said. “They want to support that in some other way than early release on Wednesdays.”

“I get that hence the continuing discussions,” Zboray said.

The two versions of the school calendar presented are below. Version #2 is a revision asked for by some members of the staff who asked for two more days (one in September and another in March) to collate and share and plan for student instruction. The calendar is something that must be approved districtwide.

The only member of the public attending the meeting was The Bar Harbor Story.


School Board Agenda (with links to documents)

Links to all board meetings, calendars and agendas in the school system

Calendar That Might Be Voted In On Thursday Includes Early Release Days

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