Early release eliminated for upcoming school year

CCHS and JVHS denied TEA permission

Story by: Rayya Gordon, News Editor

Due to a change in state law, students will no longer have early release on Thursdays. Early release was only possible via waivers from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and no waivers will be granted for the 2016-2017 school year. Currently no final decision exists on the future of block scheduling.

The elimination of early release ensures adherence to new rules regarding how long students must attend school. The Texas Education Code no longer accepts 180 days of instruction as a school year and now requires at least 75,600 minutes of instruction, with one day defined as 420 minutes. Principal Vicki Snokhous said the rationale behind the rule change meant to give districts more flexibility in scheduling.

“[We will make a formal announcement] once we figure out the bell schedule for next year,” Snokhous said.

So far students disapprove of the loss of early release. Freshman John Akard said he likes early release, which to him means more time for students to participate in extracurricular activities.

“I strongly disagree [with losing early release], because it’s a good time for us to go home and study and do our homework and do other activities that we normally wouldn’t be able to do without that time,” Akard said.

PACE and Teen Leadership teacher and PALs sponsor Amy King said she dislikes early release because she does not enjoy the after school meetings.

“I’m happy [early release is being eliminated]; it allows PALS to travel any day of the week and not just Mondays and Tuesdays,” King said.