Opinion editorials, reviews and personal essays
By Colin Jun
Changing from the existing system to a new system is always challenging and controversial - not everyone agrees to it nor gets satisfied. As the new school year started, SAS also had many changes. The high school entrance turned into the "High School Commons," the new schedule with flexi time got implemented, etc. Among these changes, Early Release is one of the few we have not experienced very often. Like the other new systems implemented in our school, Early Release Schedule still has controversy on its efficiency.
On Early Release Day, every period is shorter than usual - 55 minutes for classes, 40 minutes for Flexi and lunch. Therefore, all the students get released at 1: 30 pm. Through the document “Early Releases in the service of the school improvement FAQ,” the school explained that Early Release Day allows the teachers to spend the rest of the day on discussing and improving curriculum, designing assessments and teaching strategies. AAs a result, teachers are supposed to be able to devote more time to collaboration within the grades and across the grades. Through this new system, the school expects the quality of education in our school can have improvements overall. Moreover, unlike PD Days, which the students miss a whole day, the Early Release Days helps the students not to miss any class, and thus do not interrupt the flow of the course.
Regarding the advantages that Early Release Days are expected to provide, Early Release Days seems like it is a positive change from the old system. However, as it is explained before, not everyone agrees to the changes. Early Release Days also faces some objections and dissatisfaction of the people. The biggest problem is that 55 minutes is not long enough for the teachers and students to have a class. Including the opening and closing time for the class, the actual class time becomes 40-50 minutes. Even by excluding the opening and closing time, 55 minutes is not enough to run the activities or cover the contents of the 80-minute class. Therefore, sometimes there can be a disadvantage for the students regarding the test preparation. Although having consecutive Early Release Days in two weeks equals out the amount of time A day and by day, student miss, depending on the exam date, the students may not be able to get enough help from the teachers.
The Early Release Day system has just been implemented in our community. Furthermore, last month was the first time this new system took into action. It usually takes a long time for a new system to blend into the people, and during the implementation process, there still will be dissatisfactions or complaints about the new system. However, to maximize the benefit of this new system and ensure it becomes suitable for our school, we will need to experience this system several more times and actively give feedback on the school.