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Secondary Ed. Frequently Asked Questions

In Frequently Asked Questions you will find answers and information regarding the following topics:
  • Early Dismissal
  • Early Start
  • School Calendar Process
  • Q: Why are my children released early from school so often?
    A: We are committed to Professional Learning Communities. This means that we have high expectations for our teachers and our students. Our goal is to provide the best learning experience and academic success possible for each student. Research has proven that teachers who collaborate together, share ideas, follow standards and curriculum and share common goals and rigor can meet those expectations. We provide several minimum days of instruction for students so that we can schedule time for teacher collaboration. Assessment data has shown that those teachers who work together as a team, study data and respond to intervention, and are responsible for the learning of each individual student are making a positive difference in the lives of students.
    Education entities across the United States have adopted similar methods to provide teacher experiences for their educators. In various ways, Legislative branches of our government have provided funds and mandates to fulfill this assignment. 
    Q: Why does my Intermediate student have to go to school so early in the morning?
    A: Transportation costs are the main factor in the decision to set the school start times. Working out a schedule using the approved number of buses, the availability of bus drivers and the number of students who qualify for transportation is a very complex process. We are accountable for using State funds in an appropriate manner. The same bus and bus driver must transport a group of students of all age levels. By staggering the start times of the various grade levels, we can use our resources wisely and keep students safe.
    • The decision to have students in grades 6 and 7 use the early start time allows them to be home early in the afternoon. They are at the age where they can manage their homework and other assignments without close parental supervison.
    • High school students experience extracurricular opportunities and personal schedules that go into the evening so having a later start time works best for them.
    • Elementary students are young and require adult supervision. They also need to be safe and traveling on a bus with older students can be problematic at times. The later start allows us to transport elementary age students in a safe manner and at the time of the day when family needs can be accommodated.  
  • Q: Why does school begin so early in the month of August?
    A: By law, school must be held for 180 days. The Washington County School District Board of Education has asked that we end the school year before Memorial Day. They have also asked that we accommodate the following holidays and breaks:
    • All National holidays
    • Two days for Fall Break at the end of the 1st quarter of study
    • *Three days for Thanksgiving holiday
    • Christmas holiday which begins at the end of the 2nd quarter of study
    • Five days for Spring Break at the end of the 3rd quarter of study
    • Two days for the Easter Weekend
    After counting back from Memorial Day and scheduling in all of the days listed above we begin school as late as possible in August to accommodate 179 days (one day short of the required 180). Each year is unique depending on how these days fall in the calendar. Some years we can offer a longer Christmas break depending on how the weekend fits into the timeline. The School Board frequently makes suggestions to help move the first day of school as late as possible in the month of August. The calendar is approved by the Board two years out. 
    *Please note, we do not hold school on the day before Thanksgiving to allow for family travel. We use the SEOP (Student Educational Option Plan) to fulfill the 180-day requirement. Teachers and counselors must provide SEOP time for 6 hours either back-to-back days or one 3-hour block in the fall and one 3-hour block in the spring. These SEOP opportunities are scheduled after school hours in late afternoon or evening time slots.