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Springdale School Board approves "early release Wednesday"

The Springdale School Board voted to do an "early release Wednesday" program which would start in August and give teachers more development time.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Thursday, April 14, in a 7-0 vote, the Springdale School District, home to nearly 23,000 students, decided to give teachers double the amount of time for weekly professional development.

Prior to the school board's vote, a survey was posted for parents, students, and staff, about 45% of the 3,004 people surveyed strongly agreed with the decision.

"When am I going to deliver my instruction?,” asked a Springdale teacher. “How do I know when my students get it? How do I know when my students don't get it?"

For 80 minutes a week, teachers will get to collaborate on ideas on how to better work with students and improve their education.

"Our teachers are working very, very hard,” said Springdale Associate Superintendent for Curriculum Dr. Marcia Smith. “Doing the best, they know how to do. This is an opportunity to provide them with support with things they don't even know they can do to help them get better."

Each Wednesday starting in August, Springdale students will be released from school 80 minutes early.  The other four days of classes will make up for the lost time.

"There's 10 minutes added to every single day of the week for each grade level," said Smith.

The district says there will be no learning loss for children and will instead improve education.

"Can have an impact on students' ability to read and their math performances," Smith said.

However, this change has some parents worried about transportation and child care services. With some parents working or having students attending different schools with different dismissal times.

"We have a lot of planning to do to prepare everybody, so it goes smooth," Smith said.

In the meantime, they'll be working with parents to make sure students are safe.

"We will consistently listen, work, grow, change to meet the needs of our families," Smith said.

Springdale schools told 5NEWS they are working to provide extended child care with after-school programs for elementary and middle school students for no additional cost.

For more information, click here.

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