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LHUSD adjusts elementary schools early release calendar

Beginning this school year students at all of the district’s elementary schools will be on the same early release schedule as their secondary school counterparts.

The schedule, which basically follows a twice a month earlier release on every other Thursday, does have some variations that parents will have to keep in mind, district officials say.

Realizing the change may be hard at first for some parents, but they should be able to adjust quickly, says Diana Asseier, Lake Havasu Unified School District superintendent.

“I think, for parents, it was easy to remember when it was every Thursday,” Asseier said. “Adapting to the change will take a little more effort. I do realize that.”

A quick glance at the academic calendar on the district’s website will show parents where the regular schedule is interrupted. For instance, during September, the schedule modification is a result of Rachel’s Challenge activities that bring a greater awareness to students on how kind words and actions make a difference in preventing bullying, school violence and suicide.

The change in the early release schedule for October, November, December and March occur from annual Thanksgiving, fall, winter and spring breaks.

The changes to the early release schedule is a result of the district’s recent decision to hire elementary school physical education, art and music teachers. The move allows the entire teaching staff time for a prep period, something they had to previously give up because of staffing constraints, according to district officials.

Asseier said the new academic calendar offers many advantages that support student academic development, along with the opportunity for parents with children enrolled in both elementary and middle or high school to make afterschool pick up a no longer problematic event.

During early release days, elementary school and middle students will be released at 1 p.m. For the high school, it is 12:25 p.m., allowing parents or older siblings’ time enough to pick up their younger brothers and sisters.

“The other issue with the previous every Thursday early release is that elementary students were missing out on valuable instructional time,” Asseier said. “Since our elementary teachers will now have the planning time, much like our secondary teachers have, we thought it would be a positive to bring back a full day of instruction during certain days to provide more teaching time.”

by David Louis, Today's News-Herald
July 18, 2018

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