Campbellsville Schools will have early release for 2013-2014 year

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By Calen McKinney

Beginning next school year, Campbellsville School System students will be released from school a bit early on Fridays.

At a special meeting Friday afternoon, Campbellsville Board of Education members voted to, beginning in August, release students at 1 p.m. each Friday.

With the vote, the 2013-2014 school calendar approved in March was amended to reflect the change. The calendar is printed below.

Campbellsville School Superintendent Mike Deaton said the change is being made so the District can continue to participate in the Race to the Top grant program that will give each participating district about $1.6 million.

In January, Deaton said his District is one of only 22 participating and the grant will provide training, materials and instruction. The grant will help elementary students learn about careers, middle school students about how to pursue their personal interests and high school students will learn college skills. A Preschool Pals program will help preschool transition to kindergarten.

Deaton said the Race to the Top grant requires that participating districts have 72 hours of professional development time built into their school calendar.

When looking at the 2013-2014 calendar approved in March, Deaton said, that calendar didn’t provide for that many professional development hours.

He said he asked Jeff Richardson, director of pupil personnel and food services, to research potential changes to the calendar that would allow the District to continue its participation in the grant program. Of those options, Deaton said, he believes early-release Fridays are the best.

Richardson said schools are required to provide 1,062 instruction hours per school year. With the addition of early-release Fridays, he said, the Campbellsville District will provide 1,081 hours, which is three days above the requirement.

“So the instructional time is not gonna suffer with the early-release days,” Deaton said.

Using an early-release Friday schedule, Deaton said, also puts the District in line with surrounding schools that already use the schedule. Taylor, Adair, Green and LaRue counties have early-release Fridays, he said.

Board member Barkley Taylor made a motion to amend the 2013-2014 school calendar to include early-release Fridays. Board member Suzanne Wilson seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.

Two teacher work days, originally scheduled for Sept. 27 and March 28, were also removed from the calendar.

After the meeting, Deaton said early-release Fridays weren’t discussed when the calendar was up for consideration in March because some officials were hesitant to begin them, knowing some parents will have trouble finding care for their children between 1 and 3 p.m. on Fridays.

Deaton said it became clear that the District must do early-release Fridays when officials realized the calendar, as it was, didn’t include enough professional development time to receive the Race to the Top grant funding.

Deaton said discussion about helping parents find care for their children on Fridays will continue.

“We’re gonna look into what we as a school district can do to help some folks out,” he said.

2013-2014 School Calendar
Aug. 2               Professional development
Aug. 5               Opening day for teachers and staff
Aug. 6               First day for students
Sept. 2              Labor Day holiday
Oct. 4                Professional development
Oct. 7-11           Fall break
Nov. 4                No school
Nov. 27              Professional development
Nov. 28              Thanksgiving holiday
Nov. 29              No school
Dec. 19-Jan. 1    Winter break
Jan. 2                Return from winter break
Jan. 17              Teacher work day
Jan. 20              Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
Feb. 14              Teacher work day
Feb. 17              Presidents Day holiday
April 4               Professional development
April 7-11          Spring break
May 19              Last day for students
May 20              Closing day
• School will be dismissed at 1 p.m. each Friday.