Teachers are 'pretty overworked as it is,' parents react to new early release schedule

FILE - School Bus

The Beaverton School District launched the early release program on Wednesday.

Students now get out of school 90 minutes early every Wednesday. This is a first for the district, but it’s something many other districts do around the nation.

"They let us know last year probably via email, newsletters and even last couple days they've sent out email reminders,” Michael Thomas, a parent, said.

The early release will be a big change for many families. Some moms, like Nicole Wagner, love it.

"I'm super excited to have a couple extra hours with them during the week," Wagner said, talking about the time she’ll get to spend with her daughters.

But many agree, it's not easy for everyone.

“I work from home, so I’m lucky, right?” Wagner said. “I can see how it would be challenging for parents were working full-time, 9 to 5, so it could be tricky. But for me I’m super excited."

"I was a little surprised by it, but once I heard what they were using the time for the thought made sense,” Thomas said.

While students get out 90 minutes early, the teachers don’t. The extra hour and a half will be used for teacher collaboration.

“I think the teachers need an opportunity to be able to collaborate and they're already pretty overworked as it is,” Tuk Zimmermann, another parent, said.

The extra time is strictly for work including grading evaluations and unit development. Teachers will not be able to use it for parent meetings or personal appointments.

It may be an adjustment at first, but it's a change many students and teachers are celebrating.

“It's really going to be a great time for us to learn new things,” Jennifer Butler, a fourth-grade teacher in the Beaverton School District, said.

Though the students are losing an hour and a half of school on Wednesdays, the district did add two school days last year, and over the next two years, it plans to add seven more.

Correction: In a previous version of this story, Jennifer Butler's name was misspelled.

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