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June 17, 2015

Early Release Remains on Wednesdays

Last month, an Early Release Committee, charged with finding a solution to bus scheduling issues caused by the current Wednesday early release schedule, made a recommendation to the School Board to change the early release days to Fridays, adjust release times at all levels and implement weekly, rather than monthly, professional development at the high schools.

Goals of the committee included eliminating the time that elementary students wait after school on early release days for their buses to arrive after dropping off middle school students and reducing the impact caused by having a once per month 10:30 a.m. early release for high school students so close the mid-day bus runs.

After learning that there may be a potential financial impact by changing the high school schedule, the Board – pending the approval of the Kennewick Education Association (the teachers union), approved the recommendation of the committee to move early release to Fridays, but decided to leave dismissal times unchanged until the state budget could be determined.

Although the Board approved this change, the Kennewick Education Association (KEA) needed to agree to any changes to elementary and middle school early release times due to specific language about early release days in their contracts. It was determined that the majority of KEA members did not want to change the early release day from Wednesday to Friday.

This decision means that next year the early release schedule will remain unchanged at both the elementary and high schools. The middle school times still may be adjusted slightly to help out with transportation issues.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work for our transportation issues. We are committed to continuing to explore solutions that are best for students as our district continues to grow.

Kennewick School District