Wednesdays will not only dismiss students early but allow teachers to conduct PLC meetings


Addi House, Social Media Editor

Many leaving middle school and entering high school were unhappy with the transition from early release every week to once a month. However, beginning second semester, Sandpoint High School will switch to an early release Wednesday schedule, similar to every other school in the District.

While having early release every Wednesday may appear just to benefit students, teachers and administrators gained several advantages to this schedule change. For many years, early release every four weeks allowed teachers to conduct PLC (Professional Learning Communities) meetings with other departments to craft new curriculum and assessments.

Now, PLC meetings every Wednesday emphasize the use of data to improve instruction and to focus on student learning, not just teaching. Principal Tom Albertson explained that the teachers’ courses would now focus specifically around four questions: what do we want students to learn, how to know when students have learned it,  what do we do when students haven’t learned it, and what do we do when students have learned it?

“What we want is more learning for all students and so really that is the time needed, that is built in so that we have that,” Albertson said.

Due to the weekly early releases, teachers are able to see the results of student testing and use this information to create better assessments for all students. This time given to teachers will allow them to reflect on methods that did, or did not, work well in classrooms and adjust accordingly, benefiting all classrooms within the halls of SHS.

Freshman english teacher Mrs. Leedle was asked about the potential advantages to an early release Wednesday. She responded saying that this allows her to further prepare students for sophomore year through her collaborations with other english teachers.

“ It will give me extra time built in each week to get together with my colleagues to discuss what we’re doing in common, what practices worked well with my class, what I can learn from other teachers and implement that in my own class,” Leedle said.

Several students of Sandpoint High School are aware of the change of the Wednesday schedule at semester, but do not fully understand the purpose behind it. When asked about her thoughts on the new scheduled early release, sophomore Shelby Mohler responded by saying that hopefully this will allow for better understanding within the classroom for both students and teachers.

“We would be able to get a better grasp on each concept we are taught,” Mohler said.

Students will be dismissed every Wednesday at 1:50pm, and teachers will participate in the PLC meetings, with no access on Wednesdays. Potential alterations to the Wednesday schedule could be the result of an excessive amount of snow days. While SHS will have an early release Wednesday every week, this will not alter the connections schedule.